August 17, 2018
Summer Doldrums? No Way!
You know all too well that our communities' needs for health care don't take the summer off. Maybe it's not flu season just now, and perhaps fewer elective procedures are scheduled. But for the most part, the beat goes on. You are there for the people who need you ... 24/7/52.
MHA also has a lot to do. Come January 1, Maryland will begin operating under the new Total Cost of Care Model. The model has ambitious goals of controlling cost growth across all settings, raising quality, and improving the health of communities. The stakes for our hospitals and health systems are high.
A week later, the Maryland General Assembly will convene for its 439th session, with many new members eager to make their marks.
These events demand much preparation. MHA staff are on the job. One priority is to figure out which levers hospitals need to pull, individually and collectively, to make the new financing model a success from Day 1.
We are grateful to have the full engagement of our councils and work groups. Just this Tuesday, for example, the Council on Clinical and Quality Issues met. The room was packed and the agenda was full. Topics the council gave guidance on ranged from solutions for post-discharge care continuity to refining the factors that go into quality-related payment incentives.
MHA staff also are doing intensive work ahead of our Executive Committee's extra-long September meeting, during which the committee will revamp the association's strategic plan so it effectively supports the work you are doing. We have a lot of ideas; the committee will help us set direction and prioritize initiatives.
For my part, I continue my road warrior routine. I've visited more hospitals - eight in just the last three weeks - and met with their leaders to gather valuable insights on the needs of their institutions and communities that will help us make the new model work in the real world. (Fun fact: from Garrett Regional Medical Center in Oakland to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, it's 309 miles. That's about the distance from Chicago to St. Louis.)
I'm also meeting one-on-one with regulators, commissioners and legislators to hear candidly what really matters to them. And with industry veterans such as former health secretary Joshua Sharfstein and former Holy Cross Health CEO Kevin Sexton, to gain their invaluable historical perspectives. And with emerging leaders such as CareFirst's new CEO, Brian Pieninck, who I'm pleased to report is open to collaborate with hospitals in new ways to improve the health of the people of Maryland. The list goes on.
In these crucial months before the start of 2019, it is of tremendous importance that Maryland's hospital and health system leaders share a vision for better health care in our state. We, the staff of MHA, are privileged to carry the banner on your behalf.

Bob Atlas
President and CEO

Webinars Offered for Episode Care Improvement Program
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation last month approved a new Care Redesign Program track for Maryland's hospitals to participate in a voluntary program similar to the federal Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced program. The Episode Care Improvement Program (ECIP) joins the existing care redesign programs - Hospital Care Improvement Program and Complex and Chronic Care Improvement - and will launch in January 2019.
To facilitate hospitals' participation, CRISP is making available several resources, including Excel-based tools, reference documents, and webinars. Participating hospitals' implementation protocols for the ECIP must be submitted to CRISP by October 31, 2018.
Two webinar series will be held to train hospital staff on how to use CRISP's tools. Attendees will learn how to calculate target payments, how specific quality adjustors impact payments, and will be shown examples of how savings can be shared with care partners. They will also receive guidance on how to complete the implementation protocols.
Core Webinars offer information on how to evaluate ECIP participation options and how to complete application documents . Click each hyperlink to register.
  1. Core Webinar #1: ECIP 101 & Clinical Episode Selection, Quality Reporting & Incentive Payments - August 23, 9:30-11 a.m.
  2. Core Webinar #2: Completing Implementation Protocols and Selection Workbook - September 5, 9:30-11 a.m.
Supplemental Webinars will provide additional details and further opportunities for questions. Registration links for these webinars are not yet available but will be provided when they are.
  1. Supplemental Webinar A: Deep Dive into Technical Methodology, Target Prices & Quality Reporting - August 29, 9:30-11 a.m.
  2. Supplemental Webinar B: HCIP-ECIP Connection - September 27, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  3. Supplemental Webinar C: Office Hours
    1. September 20, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
    2. October 10, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
    3. October 29, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  All webinars will be recorded and posted on MHA's website.
Contact: Nicole Stallings
Human Trafficking Training Offered
The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force Victim Series Subcommittee is offering a training series for mental health providers. The series will help counselors gain task force referrals and identify at-risk client, among other functions. There are two trainings (101 and 201) and those who take both will have the opportunity to join an ongoing peer support collaborative. This cohort of trained counselors will be included on a referral list of trained providers that will be distributed to the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force partner agencies.  
  • Individuals must be Licensed Graduate Level Practitioners (LGSW, LCSW-C, LGPC, LCPC) and must have been practicing for a minimum of three years.
  • 101 attendees are strongly encouraged to take the Trauma Informed web-based training. (This training costs $35 and provides 11 contact hours of continuing education credit upon completion)
  • To attend a 201 training, individuals must have attended a Task Force Human Trafficking 101 Training
Click on the dates below to find out more about each event and register.
Human Trafficking 101:

Human Trafficking 201:
Grants Available for Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations
The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention has announced it is accepting applications for nearly $3 million in grants from the STOP Violence Against Women Grant Program. STOP, which stands for Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors, is open to public and non-profit organizations that serve victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Funding from the program may be used for such services as crisis intervention, therapy, prosecution of domestic violence and sexual assault cases, staff training, advocacy and accompaniment, temporary shelter, and sexual assault forensic examinations. The deadline to apply for grants is August 24. Click here for the Notice of Funding Availability. More information about the program is here .
MCASA Offering Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Training
The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA) is offering free training for advocates who work directly with survivors of sexual assault in any capacity. MCASA's Comprehensive 32-hour Sexual Assault Victim Advocate training covers introductory and advanced topics to provide a foundation of best practices for advocates in the field of sexual assault services. The training is free and takes place from September 17 to September 20 at Washington College in Chestertown. Click here to register. Contact MCASA at for more information.
The Case for Understanding the Health Care Consumer
When reading blogs and social media postings that recount frustrations many people have with health care and the health care system, the question of why this is still an issue arises.

Reduce Lighting Energy Costs Up to 50 Percent
Lighting accounts for 30 to 60 percent of annual electric costs for many facilities, and many new advances in lighting technology can help your organization conserve energy and save money.

Senate Hearing Highlights FCC Efforts to Expand Broadband, Telehealth
Testifying at a Senate hearing this week on Federal Communications Commission policies and oversight, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai highlighted the agency's recent actions to expand access to broadband and telehealth.

Maryland Reporter , By Meg Tully, August 13
The Baltimore Sun , By Andrea K. McDaniels, August 14
The Daily Record , By Tim Curtis, August 15
Herald-Mail Media , By Dan Dearth, August 15
WBAL-TV , By Theo Hayes, August 15
The Daily Record , By Staff, August 16