MHA Update Newsletter
June 5, 2015
MHEI Programs & Webinars

June 9

Weaving the Threads of Environmental Health into Daily Operations



June 10 and 11

C.O.R.E. Leadership


Quick Links


Purposeful Work

Courage and resolution are the spirit and soul of virtue. - Thomas Fuller


At MHA's annual membership meeting this week, we presented our Distinguished Service Award to the teams of caregivers at Maryland's three designated Ebola treatment centers, along with the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. In a video presentation during the awards ceremony, we had a chance to hear directly from some of the nurses and doctors who stepped up to battle this deadly illness.

Without exception, these brave women and men spoke of the work as a duty, a calling - the very essence of why they chose the professions that they did, and reflective of the Fuller quote above, which is inscribed on the awards themselves. Their spirit in service of a greater purpose was echoed by the meeting's two guest speakers - Paul Keckley, Ph.D., and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.


Keckley, a health care economist, talked about how old, fee-for-service models are, simply, moot. The future of health care, he said, is nonprofit work ... or, more accurately, profit with purpose. As an example, CVS, which forfeited about $2 billion in revenue when it stopped selling tobacco products, has since seen an annual increase in revenue of about $15 billion.


Dr. Wen touched on how, for the first time in her life, the conversation about community health has been elevated to a national level. Baltimore's recent unrest and other incidents throughout the nation have brought into the public's consciousness the major role that social factors play in a community's health. This is now a unique opportunity to effect lasting, positive change, an effort that aligns perfectly with Maryland's waiver agreement.


Dr. Wen spoke of a patient she had encountered as an emergency department physician, a woman struggling with substance abuse. Dr. Wen would provide the appropriate medical treatments, over and over, until one day, her patient overdosed and could not be revived.


Dr. Wen said she wonders if more could have been done to address the roots of her patient's problem, rather than just the symptoms she was displaying during any of her multiple emergency department visits. This idea is at the core of population health - that effective treatment of a patient, and a community, means addressing the upstream factors that go beyond illness and injury and, in many cases, beyond the traditional scope of hospitals' and physicians' work.


This is an idea that Maryland's hospitals have embraced over the first 18 months of the modernized waiver. As Keckley put it during his remarks, the nation is watching.


Having had the chance to spend at least a bit of time with so many of you at the meeting, I was struck by a markedly different tone from last year's gathering. Last year, we had just modernized the Medicare waiver and were searching for the right path forward. This week, there was a greater sense of confidence that we are heading in the right direction. With our purpose clear, it's no longer a question of where to go, but how to sustain the forward momentum we'll need to get there.

Carmela signature
In This Issue
Quarterly Financial and Utilization Reports Available

The financial reports for the first quarter of 2015 are now available for MHA members. To access the Accounts Receivable and Combined Financial Trends and Utilization reports, go to, click the login button and enter your username and password for
MHA Executive Committee Meets
MHA's Executive Committee earlier this week approved membership rosters for the councils on Clinical & Quality Issues, Financial Policy, and Legislative & Regulatory Policy, and the boards for Prime and MHAPAC. The committee discussed two proposed MHA task forces, as well as reviewed the results of the recent MHA member survey. Outgoing Executive Committee members were recognized for their service, including: John Chessare, M.D., President & CEO, Greater Baltimore Medical Center; Blair Eig, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Holy Cross Health; Michelle Gourdine, M.D., board member, LifeBridge Health; Kevin Sexton, President & CEO, Holy Cross Health; and Cliff Stewart, board member, Calvert Memorial Hospital. Meeting minutes will be available on the MHA website next week.
MHA Board of Trustees Actions
At MHA's Annual Membership meeting on June 2, the Board of Trustees (composed of a voting seat from each of MHA's members and required to approve certain decisions made by the Executive Committee of the Board) approved MHA's fiscal 2016 budget and the Executive Committee candidate slate. The new term of the Executive Committee of the Board begins July 1.
AHA, AMA Develop Integrated Leadership Principles

The American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association have released a report outlining six principles necessary to thrive in a world of value-based health care that increasingly requires close cooperation between physicians and hospitals. Integrated Leadership for Hospitals and Health Systems: Principles for Success is the result of two years of work between AHA and AMA, and highlights these principles:

  • Physician and hospital leaders must share values and expectations; aligned incentives; goals across the board with appropriate means of measuring them; responsibility for financial, cost and quality targets; accountable service line teams; strategic planning; and a focus on engaging patients as partners.
  • A structure incorporating all disciplines and supporting collaborative decision-making between doctors and hospital executives, with physicians maintaining their clinical autonomy.
  • Hospital and clinical leadership that is integrated at all levels of the health system, and includes nursing and other caregivers participating in all key management decisions.
  • The partnership between both sides must be collaborative, participatory and built on trust. Interdependence and a thrust toward achieving the Triple Aim is "crucial to alignment and engagement."
  • Transparency of both clinical and business information, across the entire enterprise, is also crucial.
  • Finally, integrated leadership requires an IT system that allows clinicians to capture and report quality and performance data of all participants, with leadership holding its workforce accountable for those measurements.
MHEI Brings "Population Health for Managers" to You
MHEI new logo

MHEI is making its "Population Health for Managers" program available to MHEI members interested in bringing the program to their own campus. This half-day program explains 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 include 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 is both an introduction to the topic as well as a "call to action" for those managers who are not yet involved in preparing for the new health care environment.


Contact: Mark Rulle
The Week Ahead

Tuesday, June 9

MHA's Council on Clinical and Quality Issues meeting


Wednesday, June 10

Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting

Carmela Coyle moderates Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce Health 

  Committee "Health Business Summit"


Thursday, June 11 

Financial Technical Work Group meeting

Medicaid Payer Relations Task Force meeting


Friday, June 12

Mental Health Work Group meeting

Top News from This Week



Some of Medicaid Proposal Already in Place in Md.
The Daily Record, By Daniel Leaderman, May 29


Complications More Likely When Doctors Don't Do Enough Surgeries, Study Says
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, May 29


Hospital Proposal Has More Money for Infrastructure, Less for Charity Care
The Daily Record, By Daniel Leaderman, June 1


Providers Want CMS to Slow Down EHR Superhighway
Modern Healthcare, By Virgil Dickson, June 1


Medicare Sheds New Light on Hospital, Physician Pay
Modern Healthcare, By Bob Herman, June 1


New Regulation Could Price Small Businesses Out of Self-Funding Health Insurance
Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, June 2


Here's Your Chance to Tell the State What You Think About Proposed Insurance Rates
Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, June 3


How Hospitals Hope to Boost Ratings on Yelp, Healthgrades, Zocdoc and Vitals
The Washington Post, By Lena H. Sun, June 3