April 27, 2018
Spotlight on Health Disparities
There's a common refrain among health care providers when it comes to discussing health disparities. It goes something like this: "I treat all my patients exactly the same, regardless of their color." Or this: "A disease ought to be treated the same, no matter who has it." Or this one: "I'm a doctor/nurse/pharmacist/etc. - I treat illnesses, not personal problems."
While those sentiments are undoubtedly valid, there's something amiss when it comes to what's actually happening for far too many Marylanders. Take a look at these statistics from the Maryland Department of Health comparing minority populations to whites:  
  • Black women are 39 percent more likely to die from breast cancer
  • Black men and women are 26 percent more likely to die from stroke
  • Infant mortality is 2.5 times higher among black babies
  • Asians are more than 18 percent more likely to acquire tuberculosis
  • Hispanics are 41 percent more likely to have diabetes
The data are sobering. They suggest that, despite our best intentions as caregivers, and major strides toward delivering health care equitably, disparities in health continue.
We need to turn the tide.
This month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health celebrated National Minority Health Month , highlighting partnerships at all levels that reduce health disparities.
A few years ago, Maryland achieved acclaim for being the first state in the nation to have 100 percent of its hospitals sign the American Hospital Association's Equity of Care pledge , to begin work to reduce health disparities. Since then, work on this front has been somewhat uneven. And the problems persist.
Since joining MHA in early March, I've been traveling across the state, visiting hospitals. I've seen truly impressive efforts by hospitals to partner with community-based caregivers, social services agencies, and faith organizations, all toward whole-person health for high-need patients and population-wide health improvement for communities. This laudable work must continue and grow.
In May, the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute will convene hospital Equity of Care leads to share experiences and discuss the business case for reducing health disparities. This is one way your MHA and its affiliates are working to help you with this goal. And we're examining additional resources that might be helpful in the coming months and years.

Bob Atlas
President and CEO

Register Now for MHA's Annual Membership Meeting
Registration is open for the MHA Annual Membership Meeting, which begins with a welcome reception June 11 and concludes with the general session June 12. If you need a hotel room, accommodations can be made before May 11 online . In the "corporate/promo code" box enter the code CI0618MH to receive the group rate. Or call the hotel directly at 410-576-5800.
One of our featured speakers is Ben Nemtin , the #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?, star of the TV show The Buried Life, and an internationally renowned speaker. As the co-founder of The Buried Life movement, Ben's message of radical possibility has been featured in major media including The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC News, and more. Oprah Winfrey called Ben's life work "truly inspiring." His journey began in a pit of depression, when Ben and his three best friends decided to create the world's greatest bucket list. They bought a rickety old bus and criss-crossed North America. Every time they accomplished a dream, they helped a complete stranger cross something off their bucket list. From playing basketball with President Obama to raising over $400,000 for charity, Ben's bucket list quest has inspired millions to chase their dreams. 
Contact: Kathy Gotwalt
Data on Hospital Drug Costs Available
Earlier this month, the American Hospital Association, in collaboration with the Federation of American Hospitals and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, launched the 2018 update of the survey on trends in hospital drug costs. AHA has arranged with NORC at the University of Chicago to provide state-level briefs for interested state hospital associations. Click here for an overview of the study, as well as more information on the opportunity for state briefs. For reference, you can access the 2016 results here . If you need more details on the survey or have questions, contact Robyn Bash at AHA.
AHA Resources Explore Innovation Disruptions
Massive transformations, such as moving from a health care system that rewards volume to one that promotes and rewards values, along with the rise of consumerism and a new digital economy, are forcing even greater changes in the way health care is delivered and how providers are interacting with patients. In 2017, the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees commissioned the Committee on Health Strategy & Innovation to study this transformation, particularly as it relates to the issues of innovation and affordability. This work led to the creation of The Value Initiative to provide thought leadership on the issue of affordability to hospitals.

This disruption is not just limited to small start-up or tech companies. In recent months, we've seen a deluge of mergers announced, with CVS and Aetna announcing plans to merge and Walmart reportedly in talks to merge with Humana. Companies such as Amazon, Apple and Berkshire Hathaway have made waves with new potential health care alliances and ventures. And more is on the horizon. AHA has created a video with more details on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for hospitals and health systems. In addition, a new webpage will serve as the hub for the latest on innovative disruption in health care. Additional resources will follow, including regular updates on potential disruptors in the field and materials you can use with your board to explain the changing landscape and strategize for the future.
Total Cost of Care Summit Scheduled
Maryland is leading the nation in care delivery transformation under Maryland's Care Redesign Amendment to the All-Payer Model. In the first three years, Maryland has met or exceeded the key All-Payer Model tests for limiting hospital cost growth and improving quality of care. The Maryland Total Cost of Care Model (the next phase of the All-Payer Model set to begin in January 2019) moves beyond hospital walls to improve Medicare patients' care in the post-acute community. Care redesign encourages even greater alignment to reduce costs and improve quality. Maryland's growing senior population, with their significant needs, are at the center of this drive for improvement. LifeSpan and The Beacon Institute have teamed with MHA and the Maryland National Capital Homecare Association and Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients to bring you the 2018 Cross-Continuum Leadership Summit, June 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Turf Valley Conference Center. Designed to prepare you for what lies ahead, the fifth annual summit will inform you about the latest innovative care delivery models, and the technologies used to improve outcomes. MHA President and CEO Bob Atlas will give the morning keynote and will share perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for Maryland's hospitals and their partners. Register now for the June 7 event.
MHCC Hosts Webinar on Remote Patient Monitoring
The Maryland Health Care Commission is holding a virtual learning session May 15 from noon to 1 p.m. on two topics related to remote patient monitoring. The first will feature Medicaid representatives sharing detailed information on monitoring, including qualifying conditions, reimbursement requirement and patient eligibility. The second is from an MHCC grantee, the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group's Pediatrics at Home Services. This group is piloting a comprehensive program that provides enhanced disease management to children with asthma through the use of a mobile application. Click here to register. Contact Christine Karayinopulos with questions.
Medication Telehealth Grant Awarded
The University of Maryland Quality Care Network has received a telehealth grant from the Maryland Health Care Commission to use technology to provide pharmacist support to help health care professionals better manage patients' medication regimens. The project aims to improve health outcomes and reduce hospital and emergency room costs for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in rural Maryland through greater sharing of accurate medication information via telehealth. The University of Maryland Quality Care Network will partner with the e-Health Center at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, the University of Maryland Medical System Telemedicine Program (e-Care), and the University of Maryland Community Medical Group of the Eastern Shore.
Peterson Honored by AHA
The American Hospital Association's 2018 Award of Honor will be given to Ronald R. Peterson, president emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Health System and special advisor to the dean/Chief Executive Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine. The award, to be presented May 7 at AHA's Annual Meeting, is given to individuals or organizations in recognition of exemplary contributions to the health and well-being of our nation through leadership on major health policy or social initiatives.
High Reliability - A "Thinking" Proposition
In this environment of "mindfulness" and resilience, the professionals at AHRQ recognize the role these concepts play in ensuring hospitals are becoming High Reliability Organizations.

Looking for a Cutting Edge Provider for Blood and Associated Services?
For more than 60 years, Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) has provided blood and blood components to hospitals throughout the Delmarva region, helping avoid blood shortages and saving thousands of lives with assistance from more than 150,000 current donors.

AHA GuideĀ® is Now Online
The American Hospital Association's 2018 GuideĀ® is now online and available to AHA members.

Tuesday, May 1
MHA Executive Committee meeting
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