September 30, 2016
Keeping Tabs on New Laws
Tomorrow, October 1, marks the date when several laws that were passed during this year's General Assembly session and impact hospitals go into effect.


Some will have an immediate impact on your organization, like a law mandating registration with the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, and the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, which helps hospitals work with patients' family members or friends to coordinate post-discharge care. (Maryland is one of 30 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to pass the CARE Act.) Other laws are more ceremonial, like the Governor's annual proclamation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day.


For your convenience, MHA has compiled a list of the nearly two dozen bills, and guidance for who in your organization should be notified, that become effective tomorrow. In addition, because the CARE Act has the potential to present a larger public profile, we've generated a single-page information sheet to familiarize you with its requirements.


As laws from the previous session begin to take effect, MHA is developing strategies for next year's legislative agenda. Earlier this month, MHA's Executive Committee approved an agenda focused on three top priorities: preserving the $25 million annual Medicaid tax spend-down, improving the state's medical liability environment, and addressing Maryland's behavioral health crisis.


As is the case every year, MHA also will play a good bit of defense to fend off bad legislation that threatens to hamper your ability to care for patients and communities. And as always, we'll rely on you to help tell the story in Annapolis of how hospitals are working to make their communities healthier and more stable.


If you have any questions about the laws in the spreadsheet, contact Jennifer Witten, Director, Government Relations. And stay tuned in the next couple of months for advocacy materials that will help our field further the hospital case in Annapolis next year.

CEO/CFO Meeting Focuses on All-Payer Model
A statewide CEO/CFO meeting held this week brought together the hospital field to discuss the Maryland all-payer model. With a December deadline for the state to submit a strategic plan to CMS for the next phase of the model, the meeting covered progress to date, key HSCRC and DHMH documents related to model progression, and discussion around next steps. Meeting packets will be mailed to hospital CEOs and CFOs who were unable to attend the meeting. Handouts can also be found on MHA's website (you must be logged in to view them).
Primary Service Area Total Cost of Care Reports Available
In order for hospitals to receive the full fiscal year 2017 global budget update, HSCRC recommended that hospitals monitor the growth in Medicare total cost of care by hospital service area. To help hospitals accomplish this, HSCRC and CRISP have developed a Medicare total cost of care report, specific to provider service areas, for hospitals to use. These reports reflect total Medicare spending per beneficiary for the primary service area zip codes identified in each hospital's Global Budget Revenue agreement. Hospital leaders should review changes, identify the total cost of care drivers and take steps to manage total cost of care growth. The reports can be accessed here. Contact Brian Sims at for more information.
Haft Speaks at MHA Forum on Opioid Prescribing
MHA on Monday hosted a forum on opioid prescribing education as part of residency program training. Dr. Howard Haft, Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services at the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, discussed with directors of hospital residency programs for the department's perspective on drivers of the opioid epidemic and how Maryland's physicians could respond through enhanced prescribing practices. He also acknowledged the universal hospital commitment to MHA's Emergency Department Opioid Prescribing Guidelines , which are aligned with the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Haft asked hospitals to educate residents about the new guidelines, and encouraged enhanced use of SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment) and monitoring of the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to track prescribing patterns.
HSCRC Extends Deadline for Infrastructure Reports
The HSCRC has extended the due date of the 2016 fiscal year GBR Infrastructure Reports by one week to Friday, October 7. Please contact Brian Sims if you have any questions. The reporting template and instructions can be found here.
Care Transformation Public Forums Continue
The Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, along with MHA and several other partners, continue their series of public forums to educate consumers about Maryland's care transformation and the importance of getting the right care, at the right time, in the right setting. Upcoming forums are October 18 in Towson, October 19 in Rockville, and October 27 in Columbia. American Hospital Association President & CEO Rick Pollack will speak at the Howard County forum in Columbia (flyer and agenda are available here). 
HSCRC and 3M to Convene at MHA
Staff from the HSCRC and 3M will meet with physician and quality leaders at MHA's Elkridge offices November 4, from 9 11:30 a.m. The meeting will address concerns about the clinical appropriateness of aspects of the software that defines potentially preventable complications - the basis for Maryland's Hospital Acquired Conditions program. A summary of the changes that were agreed to as a result of previous meetings can be found here (files are members-only; you must be logged in to view them). Contact Justin Ziombra with any questions.
Discounts for CANDOR Conference Extended
The Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C. has extended until October 7 its discounted room rates for Taking Action with CANDOR, the October 20 and 21 conference sponsored by the MedStar Institute for Quality & Safety and the Collaborative for Improvement and Accountability.. Eight of MedStar Health's hospitals participated in a pilot program for CANDOR, short for "Communication and Optimal Resolution," and in the past four years, MedStar has lowered serious safety events by almost 60 percent. CANDOR was developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to help break down the walls that tend to get built when an error occurs by encouraging full disclosure and an apology following an adverse event.  The small-group training ( attendees are eligible for continuing education credits), designed for board members, CEOs, COOs, CMOs, CNOs, and other patient safety leaders, will focus on the CANDOR toolkit, which contains videos, PowerPoint presentations and other documents explaining a variety of activities, including how to hold conversations with patients and families and how to implement disclosure programs across an institution. MHA is an event partner and members of MHA are entitled to discounted rates (discount code is "NO HARM"). Click here for more information and here to register. 
ACS Hosts Forum on Palliative Care
The American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network is hosting a Health Policy Forum on Palliative Care on Thursday, October 13, at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. This event brings together key leaders and decision makers in business, education, medical research, cancer care, government, and health policy. This year's forum is dedicated to educating patients, providers and the public about palliative care. For more details and information on how to register, download the flyer.
Asking Physicians to Lead

More and more, we recognize the value in having physicians who are committed to helping us lead our organizations. In addition to the clinical expertise they bring, we also rely on them to assist in gathering staff around issues of safety and quality. 

PRIME Offers Capital and Construction Solutions

Prime, through its affiliation with MedAssets, would like to introduce you to MedAssets Capital and Construction Solutions, which deliver end-to-end capabilities to help you complete successful, on-time and on-budget construction or renovation projects.


CMS to Resume Hospital Appeals Settlements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week announced it will again allow eligible hospitals to settle inpatient status claims under appeal, adding that details will be released soon.


Wednesday, October 5
- MHA's Behavioral Health Task Force meeting
Fox Baltimore, By Joy Lepola, September 23
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, September 25
Baltimore Business Journal, By Morgan Eichensehr, September 26
The Daily Record, By Daniel Leaderman, September 26
The BayNet, By Dick Myers, September 28
Rockville Patch, By Isatou Simaga, September 27
Baltimore Business Journal, By Morgan Eichensehr, September 28
The Daily Record, By Staff, September 28