July 10, 2015
Doctors in the Lead

The latest edition of Chesapeake Physician magazine features a terrific piece on physician leadership (page 8) that really gets at the heart of the health care delivery transformation experiment taking place in Maryland.


The article focuses on a new program from the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute, with which MHA and Maryland's hospitals have a longstanding leadership and education relationshipThe Physician Leadership Initiative helps doctors develop the skills they need to become effective leaders, a skillset that, MHEI President Mark Rulle, Ed.D., notes in the piece, is very different from what physicians learn during their traditional clinical and business training.


"Being the boss is not the same as being a good leader," Rulle says. "Health care has many educated, talented people, and you're wasting talent if you don't engage them and allow them to speak up."


Rulle's point is that we can all do a better job of leveraging the talent within our organizations. Physician leadership is especially important because it's essential to sustaining success under the modernized Medicare waiver. Success will require doctors and hospitals to integrate what they do - to strive for the same goals, follow the same vision and share the same sensibilities about how to address the needs of patients and communities.


Creating opportunities for physicians to expand their leadership roles is something the Physician Leadership Initiative is uniquely positioned to assist with thanks to MHEI's program and collaboration with the Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland. The partnership brings Loyola's extensive experience in leadership training to physicians, to prepare them to build positive working relationships, become executive decision makers and lead organizations.


In the article, Rulle points to a 1970 essay, The Servant as Leader, as a model for a potentially potent approach. "The servant leader recognizes that he is not there to give orders but to serve other people. That allows you to engage with those you work with, and hear them on their terms."


A growing number of health care organizations are placing physicians in leadership positions, decisions that, as some experts have pointed out, are being driven by the need for greater alignment and the understanding that success in value-based models of care requires a complete redesign of the way in which we deliver care.


I encourage you to investigate the Physician Leadership Initiative and other opportunities at MHEI, so that you can help develop the physician-leaders able to meet the evolving needs of increasingly complex health care systems.

MHA to Host Meeting on ICD-10 Transition
MHA will be hosting a meeting with 3M and the Health Services Cost Review Commission on August 19, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at MHA's Elkridge offices. The meeting will provide hospital staff the opportunity to better understand how the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will be addressed for the Maryland Hospital Acquired Conditions (MHAC) payment policy. The meeting is the result of quarterly meetings MHA has been convening to request changes to the grouper logic used in the MHAC program. Quality leads, infection preventionists, senior coding professionals and any other staff who work to coordinate complication reductions are invited to attend in person or via conference call. For more information about the meeting contact Justin Ziombra at jziombra@mhaonline.org or 410-540-5056.
Community Health Workers Report Released
The Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Maryland Insurance Administration have released the report of the Workgroup on Workforce Development for Community Health Workers, which the agencies created to study and make recommendations on workforce development for community health workers in Maryland. The agencies created the work group in response to legislation. Community health workers, also known as community health advocates, lay health educators, community health representatives, peer health promoters and community health outreach workers, are community members who work in community settings as connectors between health care consumers and providers to promote health among groups that have traditionally lacked access to adequate care. The work group was specifically tasked to make recommendations regarding training and credentialing for workers to be certified as non-clinical health care providers, and reimbursement and payment policies through the Maryland Medicaid Assistance Program and private insurers. The study was presented in June to the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Health and Government Operations Committee.
Hospitals Can Help Medicaid Recipients Renew
A downloadable flyer is available that can help hospitals remind Medicaid patients about their eligibility renewals. Medicaid recipients must renew their eligibility once every 12 months, and renewals for most are processed through the Maryland Health Connection. Those who must renew their eligibility via Maryland Health Connection will also receive a letter in the mail with instructions.
Panel Calls for Improved Information Sharing
The nation must make rapid progress on developing secure, efficient sharing of health information, not only to improve care, but also to engage patients and support new models of care, according to a report released this week by the American Hospital Association's Interoperability Advisory Group. The report notes that progress will take collaboration across public and private sectors. Among other actions, the report recommends that hospitals and health systems engage more fully to identify priorities for sharing data and contribute to creating better testing of IT systems. Vendors should align their business case with the needs of their customers, so that information can be shared efficiently and effectively without repeated and expensive "tolls" for creating interfaces and completing transactions. In addition, the federal government "must continue to support interoperability, but with a laser tight focus on standards, certification and testing," the report states.

MHEI Conference Hits Key Population Health Issues


From digital health to designing the new health care culture, MHEI's Annual Leadership Conference brings focus and solutions to the many questions currently being asked about our future.  

Prime Offers Guaranteed Savings on Biomedical and Diagnostic Imaging Service Costs

Are you looking for an approach to technology that fixes not just medical equipment, but the workflow and inventory management challenges health care organizations face?

Altarum: Drugs Leading Health Care Price Growth

Prescription drug prices were 5.3 percent higher in May than a year ago, by far the highest growth rate for any health care category, according to the latest Economic Indicators from Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending.

Tuesday, July 14
- Medicare Payer Relations Task Force meeting

Wednesday, July 15
Joint Quality Finance Work Group meeting

Skilled Nursing Could Help Md. Reduce Hospital Readmissions

The Daily Record, By Daniel Leaderman, July 2


Fighting Md.'s Surge in Heroin Use Requires a New Strategy, Task Force Told

The Washington Post, By Elizabeth Koh, July 2


Deaths From Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Surge

The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, July 6


Audit Finds Maryland Owes $34 Million for Medicaid Claims

The Baltimore Sun, By John Fritze, July 7


Johns Hopkins, UMD to Open Data Research Center

The Baltimore Sun, By Christina Jedra, July 7


Health Care Interests Spent the Most Lobbying Annapolis

Maryland Reporter, July 8