July 2, 2015
What a Difference a Year Makes
Today concludes a week of media attention focused on Maryland's perform
ance during the first year of the modernized Medicare waiver. Those watching from the outside often suggest that Maryland's hospitals must be relieved after a long climb up this mountain of change.


But you know we are merely in the foothills, and that the arduous work of reshaping health care delivery for 6 million Marylanders has just started. 


You know firsthand the dramatic change your organization has undergone in the past 18 months - from shifting 95 percent of all hospital revenue to fixed global budgets (the waiver agreement called for 80 percent by year five) to restructuring staff and facilities to build, from the ground up, a population health infrastructure that cares for entire communities.


And your hard work is paying off. Inpatient admissions and inpatient use rates are down more than 4 percent and potentially avoidable utilization is down more than 6 percent; readmissions rates have dropped 0.8 percent, faster than the nation as a whole. All this has translated into more than $100 million in savings to Medicare in the first year alone (the agreement calls for $330 million by year five). (MHA marked the advancements in the first year with several articles and resources.)


This progress is a testament to your commitment.


But we're still climbing. In these 18 months, you've shown that the Triple Aim is attainable- that refocused partnerships, infrastructure, staff, community and culture can really make a difference in the lives of the people you serve.


Of course success comes at a cost, and sustaining these early gains will take significant investment. Working with the Health Services Cost Review Commission, MHA helped secure a 3.3 percent average per capita global budget increase (more than $500 million) for the coming fiscal year. That's a good start, but we'll continue to fight for the resources you need to build systems to care for an unknown number of patients with unpredictable care needs within a fixed budget.


And, of course, other providers - doctors, post-acute care facilities and others - still operate under a strict fee-for-service model. To truly transform health care, it will take cooperation and buy-in from the entire continuum. This will include physician gainsharing and other initiatives that bring providers in line with the goals of the waiver agreement.


Looking back on this first, tumultuous year, it's fair to say that while we're not near the top of the mountain just yet, we are, thanks to your hard work and dedication, climbing steadily upward.

MHA's offices are closed tomorrow for the Fourth of July holiday.

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Member Forums


July 7       

Management Boot Camp

MHA Work Group Studying Access to Obstetric Services
This week, MHA hosted the first meeting of its work group that will identify the factors that facilitate or inhibit access to obstetrical services. The work group was formed after the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 187, which requested a report (by December 1) from MHA before taking any action on proposed bills relating to the issue.  A key barrier to obstetrical care access is the availability of affordable professional medical liability coverage for maternity services.
Executive Committee Minutes Available
The minutes from the June Executive Committee meeting have been posted to the MHA website.
Member Forums LIVE on New MHA Website
One of the new features of the new MHAOnline.org is our member forums, and they are already generating interest. Check them out (be sure to log in first) and participate when you can. The first post from a member is a question on asystole. Go to www.mhaonline.orglogin, click on Connect, then MHA Member Forums.
MHEI Helps Prepare New and Emerging Leaders

MHEI programming for the next 12 months includes multiple opportunities for hospital leaders, managers and physicians to learn to work within Maryland's new health care environment.

Prime's Value to Member Hospitals

Prime is the shared service/group purchasing subsidiary of the Maryland Hospital Association. Its goal is to help our member hospitals reduce the cost of care.

IOM Issues Recommendations to Promote Timely Health Care Appointments


Wait times for health care appointments vary widely in the United States, ranging from same day service to several months, according to a report released this week by the Institute of Medicine.

Wednesday, July 8
Council on Legislative & Regulatory Policy meeting

Thursday, July 9
Carmela Coyle speaks to the Health Facilities Association of Maryland Board
Financial Technical Work Group meeting

Thousands of Marylanders Could Soon Lose Medicaid
CBS Baltimore, By Tracey Leong, June 27


Medical Marijuana Moves Closer to Reality in Maryland

The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, June 28


Hospitals Save $100 Million In Medicare Costs

The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, June 29


MHA: New Md. Hospital-Payment System Shows Early Success

The Daily Record, By Daniel Leaderman, June 29


Cash-Strapped Hospitals Made More Progress on Hospital-Acquired Infections

Fierce Health Finance, By Zack Budryk, June 30


OPINION: Better Care for Less

The Baltimore Sun, June 30