MHA Update Newsletter
May 15, 2015
MHA Annual Membership Meeting

 June 1 and 2, 2015

Four Seasons

Hotel Baltimore


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All Together Now

While preliminary data from the first year under Maryland's modernized Medicare waiver show significant improvement on every key metric, hospital leaders have long understood that success cannot be sustained solely through our own initiatives. Building on your early progress means collaborating with primary care physicians, long-term care facilities, home health operators and others.


That's why it was so encouraging to spend some time this week at a summit co-sponsored by LifeSpan Network, The Beacon Institute and MHA. The summit - "Cross Continuum Partnership Models: What Maryland Can Learn from the National Lab" - convened top national leaders to highlight how interdependent, cross-organizational partnerships are improving patient outcomes, reducing costs and limiting unnecessary utilization.


This is a national trend, as hospitals are becoming more discerning when choosing post-acute partners. For our part, MHA has produced a guide to support your efforts to identify, develop and strengthen partnerships with Skilled Nursing Facilities.


The speakers at this week's event shared their impressive stories with nearly 150 women and men from across Maryland's health care continuum. While the data and anecdotes offered a range of practical ideas, the real inspiration came from the fact that each speaker echoed precisely the same message:  the paradigm has shifted, the change from volume to value is irrevocable, the people who benefit most from these changes are our patients, and working together is the right - and necessary - thing to do.


Of course, this change in thinking also makes sense from a business perspective. It saves money, it reduces the chance for malpractice claims and it improves an organization's reputation for patient satisfaction (something not to be taken lightly with hospitals' payments increasingly tied to those opinions).


The idea that different organizations, no matter where they sit along the care continuum, embrace responsibility for their patients, even if their portion of care has technically concluded, is inspiring. Hospital "discharges" are obsolete. In their place are warm handoffs, where hospitals take extraordinary care to communicate patients' needs to whomever is responsible for their next steps. And these relationships are reciprocal: Long-term care facilities, home health providers and others are willing and eager to cooperate with hospitals like never before. They share our understanding that getting people the right care, at the right time, in the right setting, requires the expertise of all settings to work in concert. 

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In This Issue
Still Time to Register for MHA's Annual Meeting

There's still time to register for MHA's annual meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore on June 1-2. The event is designed for senior leaders of Maryland's hospitals, from CEOs and trustees to chief medical officers, chief nursing officers and others. Registration closes May 22.


This year, MHA will again offer peer-led breakout sessions with health care leaders who have valuable lessons to share on issues essential to success in this new era of care. One of those sessions - HEZs and House Calls - will focus on innovative care delivery models, some of which have been developed with the help of state Health Enterprise Zones. While each community has different needs and a different response is required to meet them, there are common ingredients that successfully take a hospital beyond its four walls.


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

Commissioners Raise Little Concern Over 2016 Draft Update

Health Services Cost Review Commission members this week received the draft staff recommendation on the update to hospital global budget revenues for the year beginning July 1, 2015, which MHA supported. Commissioners also approved final recommendations on the uncompensated care policy, Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients funding, and $2.5 million for regional partnership planning grants. They also received draft recommendations on the readmissions shared savings program, updates to the relative value-unit scale for radiation therapy services, and continued funding support for the Maryland Patient Safety Center. Details can be found in this month's Newsbreak.


Contact: Mike Robbins

Recommendations on Standardization of Complications Definitions Released

To align payment incentives under the Maryland Hospital Acquired Conditions (MHAC) program, MHA formed four work groups to achieve consensus on what criteria should be used to define certain clinical conditions: urinary tract infections; acute renal failure and acute kidney injury; obstetrical hemorrhage and obstetric laceration; and respiratory failure and pneumonia. The final recommendations of each work group were released this week and can be found here. Hospitals' medical executive committee are being asked to consider the recommendations for adoption. The guidelines are not intended to interfere with or supersede professional medical judgment, but will help improve the claims data on which the MHAC program is based. In addition, MHA staff are continuing to convene clinical and quality leaders quarterly to work directly with the state and its vendor on these recommendations. 

MHEI Introduces Population Health for Managers
MHEI new logo

On Thursday, MHEI conducted a half-day program explaining the basics of the Maryland Medicare waiver, the tenets of population health, and most importantly, the implications each has for mid-level health care managers. Issues discussed centered on the changing health care/hospital culture, critical communication opportunities for managers and staff, and staff and patients, as well as the need for managers to continue to create and re-create efficiencies within their own departments. This program continues MHEI's Population Health Education series, moving it from the C-suite to the general management level.  The next population health program for mid-level managers is "Population Health and the Role of Nursing" on Thursday, September 24. While focusing on nursing, this full-day program is open to all mid-level managers.


Contact: Kelly Heacock

Capture Missing Charges and Lost Revenue
PRIME New logoHealth care providers are facing common challenges - transitioning to ICD-10, managing the risk of new reimbursement models, improving net revenue, reducing days in accounts receivable, increasing efficiency and managing complex contracts. Regardless of changing reimbursement models, complexity in payer rules and billing codes will remain a constant factor in financial performance in terms of claim delays, denials or inaccuracy in reimbursement.

MedAssets Claims and Billing Solutions enables providers to increase net revenue and compliance by automating the identification of missing charges, overcharges and coding errors with a comprehensive set of proprietary-data rules for both charge- and claim-level edits, as well as extensive reporting capabilities.  Experts can help you establish a comprehensive compliance management program built on best practices and advanced automation, to minimize audit risk and denials.


To learn more about how to improve revenue performance and MedAssets technology solutions and consulting services, contact Jim Johnston at, or click here.


Contact: Jim Johnston

Thank You to Our 2015 Annual Membership Meeting Sponsors





The Week Ahead

Tuesday, May 19

MHA Council on Financial Policy


Thursday, May 21

Executive Assistants Conference

In Case You Missed It

Thank you to the Maryland hospitals that provided MHA with great stories for us to post on Facebook and Twitter this week in support of National Hospital Week. In case you missed it, here are the posts on Facebook.


Saint Agnes Hospital


Peninsula Regional Medical Center


Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital 


Top News from This Week



Partner or DIY? Hospitals Go Different Ways on Urgent Care
Modern Healthcare, By Steven Ross Johnson, May 9


How Baltimore Hospitals Can Help the City in the Wake of Unrest
Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, May 11


Mentors Help Patients with Rehab and Offer Insider Tips Along the Way
The Wall Street Journal, By Laura Landro, May 11


Whole Patient Approach to Mental Health Treatment
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, May 11


Baltimore Infant Mortality Program Lauded
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, May 12


Radical Approach to Huge Hospital Bills: Set Your Own Price
Kaiser Health News, By Jay Hancock, May 13


Johns Hopkins Has a Plan to Reduce the Costs of Cancer to Businesses
Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, May 13


AHA's Next CEO Discusses Challenges Ahead for U.S. Hospitals
Modern Healthcare, May 13