MHA Update Newsletter
May 8, 2015
MHA Annual Membership Meeting

 June 1 and 2, 2015

Four Seasons

Hotel Baltimore


Click for More Details

MHEI Programs & Webinars

May 12

The Joint Commission Infection Prevention & Control



May 12

WEBINAR: Performance Improvement in Physician Organizations


Quick Links


Unshrouded Institutions

On Monday, the American Hospital Association, alongside thousands of hospitals and the nurses, doctors and others who - within and outside their walls - take care of people, will kick off National Hospital Week. The event commemorates the women and men who support the health of their communities through dedication and compassionate care. It also celebrates the history and professionalism of individuals who perform miracles every day.


This is a most timely celebration because, in addition to honoring the work of hospital caregivers, we also celebrate how far hospitals have come to be seen as beacons of confidence and care.


To understand just how much progress has been made, it helps to remember the history of National Hospital Week. In 1921, according to the lore, a magazine editor suggested to hospital leaders that more information about their hospitals might alleviate public fears about the "shrouded" institutions of the day.


Now, in an age brimming with information, as consumerism rapidly ascends, and as hospitals engage the communities they serve like never before, the idea of a "shrouded" institution is antithetical to the very definition of a modern hospital.


This is at once regretful and inspiring. It's troubling to think that at one time, hospitals were perceived by so many as "shrouded" institutions, whose inner workings were not truly accessible to patients or the public. But so much has changed, and that's encouraging. The hospitals of today embrace their communities as full partners in achieving their organizations' missions - missions of help, healing and hope.


National Hospital Week is about celebrating that progress and the positive impact it has on your patients and communities.


We'll be highlighting the week on our social media sites (Facebook and Twitter). And we've passed on a few resources to your public relations executives for their consideration. They include:  

  • Digital Toolkit: to help with a social media campaign to raise awareness about the importance of hospitals to their communities. There are many ways to participate, from tweeting messages of support to changing your social media profile image to the recognizable hospital "H."

  • Product Catalog: with fun gifts, awards and promotions to help make this year a special celebration and thank everyone for their contributions. Items can be personalized with your organization's name. 

The theme of the week is "Where Miracles Happen Every Day." But it's not just a theme. It's what you and your teams do day in and day out. I hope these materials are helpful as you tell your community about the miracles you perform.

Carmela signature
In This Issue
Register Now for MHA's Annual Membership Meeting

MHA's annual meeting will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore on June 1-2 and is designed for senior leaders of Maryland's hospitals, from CEOs and trustees to chief medical officers, chief nursing officers and others.

This year's Davidson Lecture will feature Dr. Leana Wen, M.D., MSc., commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department. Dr. Wen, a Harvard-educated emergency physician and Rhodes Scholar, has spent much of her career in two worlds - the emergency department, where she diagnosed and treated health problems quickly, and the public health sphere, where she worked on far-reaching policies that encourage equitable access to care. Dr. Wen is on the front lines of the national movement from volume to value, having written a best-selling book ("When Doctors Don't Listen") and co-led a national collaboration on health policy and social mission with Kaiser Permanente. The founding director of
George Washington University's Patient-Centered Care Research interdisciplinary program, Dr. Wen is committed to understanding the unique needs of every patient, so that their health is maximized outside the emergency department -- to provide the right care in the right place, at the right time.


If you are still in need of a sleeping room at the Four Seasons Hotel for the night of Monday, June 1, please contact Kathy Gotwalt.


Click here to view the annual membership meeting brochure, and here to register.


Contact: Kathy Gotwalt

At Work on the Hill

This week, MHA submitted a letter to each Maryland congressional representative Maryland asking their support and co-sponsorship of H.R. 2156-The Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2015. This bill would make significant, fundamental changes to the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program whose faulty design imposes significant administrative and financial burdens on hospitals.


Under a contingency fee structure, RACs are paid 9 to 12.5 percent of every claim they deny. RACs are not penalized for inappropriate denials that are later overturned, and hospitals win 72 percent of the appeals of denied inpatient claims at the third level of the appeals process. A recent report from AHA shows why the RAC program needs an overhaul: 

  • Hospitals report an average of $1.4 million in claims under appeal; some larger hospitals have $20 million tied up in the appeals process
  • Hospitals spend on average $117,000 annually for external services to help them manage RAC audits
  • Fifty-five percent of hospitals report that RAC audits and delays in the appeals process have created significant issues with the availability of capital resources 
Under Maryland's new demonstration waiver, our hospitals have taken great strides to eliminate unnecessary utilization. Given the constraints of our new model, it is imperative that Maryland's hospitals be reimbursed on a timely basis for the care they are providing.
Pollack Named AHA President and CEO
The American Hospital Association's Board of Trustees has named Rick Pollack as AHA's next president and chief executive officer. Pollack, a 32-year veteran of the AHA, will succeed Richard J. Umbdenstock and will begin the job in September. Pollack has served as AHA's executive vice president for advocacy and public policy since 1991.
MHEI Fall Preview: Population Health and Nursing
MHEI new logo

The Maryland Healthcare Education Institute's (MHEI) fall programming schedule includes a collaboration with the Maryland Organization of Nurse Executives (MONE). On September 24, MHEI and MONE will sponsor a program aimed at helping nurse leaders (and other health care leaders) recognize the different strategies and programs for managing population health in Maryland. In addition, this program will focus on nursing's role in the future of Maryland health care. The agenda features a number of key presentations including Kim White, senior consultant with Numerof and Associates, and Brian Boyle, Maryland's own health care advocate. For more information, follow this link. To register click here.


Contact: Kelly Heacock
Thank You to Our 2015 Annual Membership Meeting Sponsors





The Week Ahead

Tuesday, May 12

MHA Executive Committee meeting

LifeSpan Network / MHA Leadership Summit for Hospital and
  Post-Acute Long Term Care Providers, The Hotel at Arundel Preserve


Wednesday, May 13

Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting


Thursday, May 14

MHA Financial Technical Issues Work Group meeting

Top News from This Week



Many Five-Star Hospitals Scored Low on Other Measures
Modern Healthcare, By Sabriya Rice, May 2


U.S. Emergency-Room Visits Keep Climbing
The Wall Street Journal, By Stephanie Armour, May 4


House Bill Would Eliminate RAC Contingency Fees, Penalize Bad Auditors
McKnight's Long Term Care News, By John Hall, May 4


Medicare Payments Still Lean Toward Volume, Not Value
Modern Healthcare, By Sabriya Rice, May 5


Mosaic Community Services to Open $4M Health Center That Combines Primary Care, Mental Health
Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, May 5


Having a Stroke in the Hospital Can Mean Slower Care, Not Faster
Modern Healthcare, By Sabriya Rice, May 5


3 Barriers to Hospital Telemedicine Use

FierceHealthIT, By Katie Dvorak, May 6


The Baltimore Health Department is Running a Shuttle from West Baltimore to Giant, Walmart 

Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, May 6