MHA Update Newsletter
January 16, 2015
Save the Dates!

 June 1 and 2, 2015

MHA Annual Meeting
Four Seasons

Hotel Baltimore


MHEI Programs & Webinars


January 22

WEBINAR: Management of Human Resources Update: Complying with CMS and The Joint Commission Standards


Quick Links


A Marathon, Not a Sprint

This week, Maryland's General Assembly convened for the 435th time. Political pundits are saying that, in many ways, this is a historic session. For the first time in nearly a decade, Marylanders have a new governor, and with more than 40 percent of delegates and 25 percent of senators new to their office, there are fresh ideas and momentum for change.


With so many unfamiliar faces in Annapolis, MHA has been, and will be, spending a good deal of time and energy helping legislators understand the issues important to hospitals. In turn, we'll be listening to the state's new representatives, who are finding their voice and identifying their priorities as they settle into their new roles.


The issues of greatest importance to hospitals - reducing the Medicaid tax, fixing the behavioral health system and improving the medical liability environment - are large, complex problems, with very strong voices on all sides of the debates. We'll be pushing for long-term, well-reasoned solutions and any forward progress is a positive sign.


The matters are made even more complex because Gov.-elect Larry Hogan is projected to inherit a $750 million shortfall when he takes office next week. Pair that with his agenda to reduce taxes and, while there doesn't seem to be much financial wiggle room for other priorities, we continue to press our message that working to eliminate the Medicaid hospital tax is actually a long-term money-saver for the state.


That said, conversations with the governor-elect and his key appointees have been encouraging. At a reception MHA held in December, the governor-elect was genuinely impressed at the more than 100,000 jobs and $15 billion in spending that Maryland's hospitals contribute directly to the state's economy. David Brinkley, the new budget secretary, is highly fluent in the state's fiscal affairs, a well-respected moderate who can work on both sides of the aisle, and someone MHA has worked with in the past. Van Mitchell, the new health secretary, is an Annapolis veteran who understands the importance of hospitals - not only for Marylanders' physical health, but for Maryland's economic health. (Mitchell will join MHA's Executive Committee later this month for an open conversation.)


Of course, there are plenty of issues in addition to the big three that we will be fighting for (and against). We'll keep you updated on their progress throughout the session. And, as always, don't hesitate to reach out so we can help with specific challenges your organization is facing.
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In This Issue
Commissioners Reject Mid-Year Update
During this week's Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting, commissioners acknowledged that additional hospital funding will be needed to invest in the infrastructure that can lead to success under the all-payer model, but expressed their uncertainty about the need to provide that funding at this time. They instead directed Executive Director Donna Kinzer to take up the additional funding needs as part of the fiscal year 2016 balanced update to be addressed in the commission's Payment Model Work Group. More details are in this month's edition of Newsbreak.

Contact: Mike Robbins
MHA to Request More Study on Defensive Medicine
Following the release last week of a preliminary report on the cost of defensive medicine in Maryland, MHA will be asking for a deeper examination of the issue to help address some of the assumptions made by its authors. The report, written by Diane E. Hoffman, JD, MS, of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, and Bradley Herring, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that defensive medicine nationally comprises as little as 0.5 percent of total health care spending. They presented their findings before a joint Health Services Cost Review Commission work group meeting. The General Assembly had requested the study to consider how the cost of defensive medicine affects hospitals' performance under the modernized waiver. In particular, MHA is concerned with a conclusion that equates Maryland's global budget payment model to managed care, which has been shown to reduce defensive medicine. MHA is also concerned with an inference that Maryland's cap on noneconomic damages may have already reduced overall rates of defensive medicine practices.

Contact: Mike Robbins

Xinis Retires After 27 Years at Calvert Memorial
James Xinis, president and CEO of Calvert Memorial Hospital and Calvert Health System, announced that he will retire Feb. 28 after 27 years at the helm. His departure caps a four-decade health care administration career. Before joining Calvert in late 1987, he worked for 10 years at Prince George's General Hospital and Medical Center, moving up to associate administrator before joining Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Cumberland as executive vice president. The Calvert board of directors appointed Dean Teague, who has been serving as chief operating officer since 2012, as Xinis' replacement.
Last Chance to Register for Cohort II of MHEI CORE Leadership Program
MHEI new logoMHEI's C.O.R.E. leadership program helps mid-level leaders establish a new culture by engaging employees, creating accountability, and obtaining results. The deadline to register for this year's cohort is January 30. The cohort consists of 25 mid-level managers from 13 Maryland hospitals. In addition to state-of-the-art leadership education, the program also provides participants with one-on-one coaching for up to six months after the final session. This coaching is designed to help managers operationalize their learning and develop the habits of a good leader. Click the link to register.

Contact: Kelly Heacock
Prime Offers Physician Recruitment Resource
PRIME New logoOne of the biggest challenges facing Maryland's hospitals is recruiting quality physicians. Prime, an MHA subsidiary, would like to suggest the consideration of Merritt Hawkins as a resource in this effort. Merritt Hawkins is the largest physician and physician executive search and consulting firm in the United States.  Using an on-site, consultative approach, Merritt Hawkins helps hospitals and academic medical centers develop effective physician recruiting plans and then uses its nationwide candidate sourcing capabilities to help hospitals hire the best candidates. In addition, Merritt Hawkins offers a wide range of data and insight into various physician related topics, including physician compensation, physician morale, physician career plans, and practice metrics. A key physician data source is the Survey of America's Physicians, featuring input from over 20,000 physician respondents that Merritt Hawkins conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation. With over 1 million data points, the survey offers a unique window into the perspectives of today's physicians, and the results are available by state.

Contact: Jim Johnston
The Week Ahead

Tuesday, January 20

Council on Financial Policy meeting

In Case You Missed It

Report Examines Innovative Models of Care Delivery

A new report from the AHA's Physician Leadership Forum highlights two care models that ease transitions across the continuum of care: the Perioperative Surgical Home and Hospital at Home. The report shares key insights from an educational session held in conjunction with the American Society of Anesthesiologists to address ways hospitals and health systems can work with physicians to improve care delivery. These two care models provide examples of disruptive innovation that embody the Triple Aim of improving health, improving patient experience and reducing cost. "As health care delivery continues to transform, care models that partner physicians and hospitals as co-leaders of the clinical enterprise are essential." said John R. Combes, M.D., AHA senior vice president. To access the free report, visit The PLF seeks to advance excellence in patient care by fostering strong physician-hospital relations.
Top News from This Week


BLOG: Shifting Health Care's Focus to Appropriate Care
Hospitals & Health Networks, By Paul Barr, January 14, 2015


Surgical Checklists-High Hopes and Dashed Expectations
Modern Healthcare, By Sabriya Rice, January 14, 2015


Incoming Baltimore Health Commissioner Will Target What Makes the City Sick
Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, January 14, 2015


Maryland General Assembly to Open With One of Largest Freshmen Classes in Decades
The Washington Post, By Ovetta Wiggins, January 13, 2015


BLOG: Imagining a Future When the Doctor's Office is in Your Home
NPR, By Nancy Shute, January 12, 2015


Calvert Memorial Hospital President, CEO Announces Retirement
SoMdNews, By Andrea Frazier, January 12, 2015


As Md. Legislative Session Nears, Uncertainty About Hogan's Agenda
The Washington Post, By John Wagner, January 10, 2015


Budget Likely to Dominate Otherwise Unpredictable Session
The Baltimore Sun, By Erin Cox and Michael Dresser, January 10, 2015