October 16, 2015
Kids' Safety Goes Beyond Health
The 2015 General Assembly session was frenetic. As your advocate, MHA was in the thick of political negotiations on several fronts - pushing through a bill establishing a group to study Maryland's behavioral health crisis, securing a $25 million annual spend-down of the Medicaid tax, and fending off bad legislation that would have watered down valuable physician self-referral laws, among others.
Amid the din, Delegate Craig Zucker of Montgomery County approached hospitals with an eye-opening concern. He had learned that the identities of Maryland's children were at great risk from financial predators and wondered whether hospitals might be able to help spread the word about a state law that allows parents to place security freezes on their children's credit records.
Could hospitals pass out some sort of information during the discharge process for new moms to protect their newborns, he ventured.
Yes, that was one option.
But as Maryland's hospitals have plunged into whole-person care and taken on the responsibility of caring for entire communities, including the social aspects of our patients' well-being, we took it a step further. Thus was borne a full-blown public awareness campaign: kIDsafe Maryland.
Next week, a press conference will officially launch the campaign, in which hospitals and pediatricians will provide information (flyers, rack cards, web links) about resources that parents need to establish security freezes for their kids. A new website, www.kidsafemaryland.org, has information for parents, as well as links to high-resolution files for hospitals and pediatricians to print materials once the sample packets we distribute run out. The Maryland Office of the Attorney General is also on board and promoting the campaign.
This campaign is a prime example of how nimble hospitals can be when a concern about their patients and communities is called to their attention. It also demonstrates that a little bit of creativity and collaboration can go a long way in Annapolis.
We're about three months from the start of the next session of the General Assembly and while there's much we can plan for, there are sure to be a few surprises. The unexpected doesn't have to be troublesome, however. Some, like kIDsafe Maryland, turn out to be win-wins for everyone, especially the families we care for inside - and outside - of our four walls.

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MHA's 2016 Annual 
Membership Meeting

June 13 and 14, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore 

October 18-19
MHEI Annual Leadership Conference
HSCRC Commissioners Discuss Medicare Utilization Increases
During this month's Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) meeting, HSCRC Executive Director Donna Kinzer reported on the need to closely monitor increases in Medicare utilization that have occurred in calendar year 2015. The increases could begin to offset some of the Medicare savings achieved in the first year of the waiver. Commissioners also agreed to an expanded Advisory Council to provide guidance on the development of the next phase of the all-payer demonstration model, and approved updates to its Quality Based Reimbursement program. Additional details can be found in this month's edition of Newsbreak.
CMS Provides Medicare/Medicaid ICD-10 Contacts
A new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guide provides specific Medicare and Medicaid contacts for health care providers with questions following the Oct. 1 transition to ICD-10. Claims-related questions should be directed to the provider's Medicare administrative contractor or state Medicaid agency before the CMS ombudsman, who will typically respond within three business days. Effective Oct. 1, health care claims must include ICD-10 codes for medical diagnoses and inpatient hospital procedures. For more on the transition to ICD-10, visit www.aha.org and www.cms.gov.
Mental Health Association Hosts BrainFutures 2015 Conference
The Mental Health Association of Maryland is hosting a conference exploring new frontiers to improve brain health and optimize the mind's potential.BrainFutures 2015 will provide up-to-the-minute insight into new developments in behavioral health technology, treatment, support and self-care. The conference is November 4-5 in Annapolis. Visit www.brainfutures2015.org for details.
Who Are Your Next Hospital Directors.....?
.....and what are you doing today to prepare them? While turnover in certain clinical areas is a constant source of disruption and concern, there is also significant turnover in critical leadership positions.

Prime Presents Revenue Opportunity
The Mainsail Group helps clients find new and significant means of revenue and cost containment. They help hospitals form strategic partnerships with consumer brands in a manner that is supportive of a health system's mission of care.

AHA Supports ISMP Safety Guidelines for Electronic Communication of Medication Information
The AHA this week voiced support for the Institute for Safe Medication Practices' draft guidelines for safe electronic communication of medication information.

Monday, October 19
Carmela Coyle presents to MHEI Conference

Tuesday, October 20
MHA Council on Financial Policy meeting

Wednesday, October 21
MHA Operations Committee meeting
Carmela Coyle presents to Dimensions Healthcare Annual Board meeting
The Washington Post, By Ovetta Wiggins, October 9
The Washington Post, By Ovetta Wiggins, October 10
Baltimore Business Journal, By Jeff Clabaugh, October 12
The Baltimore Sun, By Karen Kaplan, October 12
The Star Democrat, By Josh Bollinger, October 13
Modern Healthcare, By Andis Robeznieks, October 13
The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, October 14
Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, October 15