MHA Update Newsletter
April 17, 2015
Save the Dates!

 June 1 and 2, 2015

MHA Annual Meeting
Four Seasons

Hotel Baltimore


Click here for more details and to register!

MHEI Programs & Webinars


April 23

Creating a High Reliability Organization


Quick Links


Advocacy, Awareness and Annapolis

After a breakneck flurry of wheeling and dealing, the General Assembly adjourned on time at midnight Monday, and hospitals can be proud of what we accomplished together over the past three months. Though many challenges faced us January 14 when legislators convened, we moved forward on several issues and held back others that threatened to get in your way as caregivers.


A new governor and administration, along with more than 60 new legislators (15 percent of the entire General Assembly), meant that hospital leaders and advocates were in full-time education mode. We worked together to bring freshman lawmakers up to speed on issues important to hospitals, but also to explain why and how hospitals are so important to Maryland - to its economy, to the health of its 6 million residents, and to the fabric of individual communities.


That investment in education paid off, as you saw at midnight Monday when we sent out our "2015 Legislature At-a-Glance" document. We pushed back against bad legislation and pushed through bills that will make the climate in Maryland more favorable to hospitals' operations. These include: 

  • a commitment to reduce the hospital Medicaid tax by $25 million per year
  • the formation of a committee of 10 legislators to assess the state's behavioral health safety net
  • the allocation of nearly $4 million for hospitals' capital projects
  • blocking a bill that would have tripled the cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits
  • securing flexibility to achieve mandated Medicaid savings, which helped hospitals avert $410 million in cuts
  • defeating bills that would have watered down physician self-referral laws
  • stopping an effort to legislate the care process by requiring hospitals to, within specific time constraints, designate and train a patient's caregiver, including a live demonstration of aftercare tasks and more
  • a commitment from senators and delegates to convene a legislative group to study the concept of a no-fault birth injury fund
  • preventing passage of a bill that would have allowed regulators to use extrapolation to estimate potential overpayments to be repaid by Medicaid providers 

All of this has truly been a team effort - especially on the education front. Hospital CEOs, nurse leaders, physicians and others gave generously of their time to meet face-to-face with dozens of new legislators, to sit for hours waiting to testify for only a few minutes before key committees, and to reach out to their representatives to contribute to our singular, resonant voice in Annapolis.


Our work together, in addition to contributing to this year's victories, has laid a strong foundation for future legislative sessions. Some troublesome bills will return next year, and MHA's Council on Legislative and Regulatory Policy will soon begin preparing our own agenda for 2016. In the meantime, stay tuned for a detailed end-of-session wrap-up with a "next steps" plan regarding how bills that passed this year might affect your organization.


And, when you have a chance, take the time to reach out to your representatives to say thanks for their hard work to make sure your hospital has the tools you need to serve your patients and communities - their constituents! Their decisions, with the help of your input, mean our field is well-positioned for the coming year.

Carmela signature
In This Issue
HSCRC Receives Care Coordination Work Group Report

Health Services Cost Review Commission members this week received a report on the findings and recommendations of the Care Coordination Work Group, co-chaired by MHA President & CEO Carmela Coyle and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Deputy Secretary Dr. Laura Herrera Scott. Commissioners also took final action on the 2014 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act recommendation to add $15 million in hospital rates over the balance of fiscal 2015 for regional partnership planning grants and care coordination infrastructure funding. Draft recommendations were also made on CRISP funding for fiscal 2016, as well as the uncompensated care policy update for fiscal 2016 and ACA-related Medicaid utilization growth that will be funded as part of the fiscal 2016 update to be presented in draft form at the May meeting. More details can be found in this month's edition of Newsbreak.


Contact: Mike Robbins

Annual Membership Meeting Registration Open

Registration is open for MHA's Annual Membership Meeting at the Four Seasons Baltimore.


Our Theme:  Legacy, Leadership and Change


Monday, June 1:

Welcome reception, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Tuesday, June 2:
Annual business meeting, keynote and breakout sessions, 7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Registration is available here. The deadline to register is Friday, May 22. Rooms are available Monday night at the discounted rate of $289. Contact the Four Seasons Baltimore directly at 410-576-5800 to make a reservation prior to Monday, May 11.


Contact: Kathy Gotwalt

End-of-life Planning Resources Available

April 16 marked National Healthcare Decisions Day, an event designed to encourage hospitals, providers and community organizations to help the public better understand end-of-life planning and advance directives. 


NHDD is a culmination of efforts to educate people about the importance of end-of-life planning, talking with their loved ones and completing an advance directive. Hospitals across the country participated, from hosting education sessions for the community and hospital staff to making advance directives available.


For free downloadable resources about end-of-life planning, visit and AHA's
MHEI Helps Leaders with Individual Issues
MHEI new logo

At the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute (MHEI), we recognize that good leadership doesn't take place in a vacuum. Often what leaders need is the opportunity to "bounce" ideas off a neutral, but informed colleague or to query others for professional advice. MHEI is now available to provide that service to its members' managers at no additional cost. Whether it is a quick call to discuss an urgent issue, or an extended email to explain a situation and schedule a series of brainstorming sessions, MHEI consultants are prepared to provide managers with assistance in idea generation and/or problem-solving. Leadership development cannot always take place in a classroom and MHEI recognizes the importance of offering this individualized, one-on-one coaching as a means to develop current and future leaders.


Contact: Mark Rulle
The Week Ahead

Tuesday, April 21

MHA Council on Financial Policy meeting


Wednesday, April 22

MHA Operations Committee meeting

Top News from This Week



Maryland Prepares for $200 Million Hit From Supreme Court Tax Case
The Washington Post, By Bill Turque, April 10


On The Heels of a Shift in its Business Model, Inova Invests in Analytics
The Washington Post, By Aaron Gregg, April 12


Maryland General Assembly Passes Budget That Widens Split With Hogan
The Washington Post, By Jenna Johnson and Ovetta Wiggins, April 14


Assembly Session Ends in Acrimony Over Budget
The Baltimore Sun, By Erin Cox, Michael Dresser and Timothy B. Wheeler, April 14


What Will Md. Gov. Hogan do Now?
The Daily Record, By Bryan P. Sears, April 14


Nation's Longest Multi-Hospital Kidney Transplant Chain Comes to Maryland
WMAR ABC Baltimore, April 14


Hospital Commission Approves Small Rate Hike for Remainder of Year
The Daily Record, By Daniel Leaderman, April 15


Medicare Overpays as Hospital Prices Rise
The Wall Street Journal, By Christopher Weaver, Anna Wilde Mathews and Tom McGinty, April 15