November 13, 2015
Quiet Acts of Selflessness
As Maryland's hospitals take the lead in moving health care's focus away from inpatient care and toward preventive care and population health, we all talk about the importance of partnerships and collaboration in getting the job done. We typically include other local organizations and caregivers in that collaboration - primary care physicians, skilled nursing facilities, home-based caregivers, pharmacists and the like. But there is another very important category of people we need to remember.
Because, when we talk about preventing readmissions and ensuring effective, long-term recovery from illness, family members, friends and caring neighbors -unheralded heroes practicing daily acts of love and devotion - are the backbone of successful post-acute care transitions. In November, the Caregiver Action Network is honoring these women and men through National Family Caregivers Month. The theme is "Respite: Care for Caregivers," which recognizes the importance of building in some breathing room for those entrusted with the lives and health of family members and friends.
Not only does respite protect the health of caregivers, strengthen family relationships and prevent burn-out; it also allows loved ones to stay at home up to three times longer.
As we've learned from countless anecdotes in the first 22 months under the new model, personalized care is the key to not only achieving the goals outlined in the waiver agreement, but also to providing the care your communities expect and deserve. With approximately 60 percent of inpatient hospital patients discharged to their homes, family caregivers are integral to the health of your communities.
And with hospital care being redefined as health care, with your work no longer confined to the boundaries of a designated campus, hospital employees are, in many ways, becoming home caregivers themselves. For many in your communities, the care they get at home - whether from family members, friends or medical professionals - truly is the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

Commentary, Blog Post Examine First Year Under Modernized Waiver
A commentary in this week's New England Journal of Medicine, along with a blog post in Health Affairs written by MHA President & CEO Carmela Coyle, examine the quality and financial progress in the first year of the modernized Medicare waiver. The commentary details the gains hospitals have made in the first year, including $116 million in savings to Medicare and a more than 26 percent reduction in hospital-acquired complications. Coyle notes in her piece that while the progress is encouraging, there is much hard work to be done to ensure the model is sustainable over the long term.
Chesapeake Registry Program Event Draws More Than 100
This week, Chesapeake Registry Program hosted its annual Roundtable Event at Turf Valley in Ellicott City. The theme of this year's conference was "The Keys to Staying on Target" and more than 100 members representing hospitals and nurse staffing agencies attended. The speakers explored Maryland's health care transformation over the past year and provided information that will help members achieve success in a new era of care delivery. The Chesapeake Registry Program, an affiliate of the Maryland Hospital Association's shared services subsidiary PRIME, assists hospitals with their supplemental staffing needs by securing favorable contracts, increasing the availability of staff and enhancing the quality of the staffing process.
Comments Due on Draft Innovations in GME Report
Earlier this week, the state's Innovations in Graduate Medical Education work group finalized its draft report for public comment. This report outlines the principles for GME reform,  current challenges for achieving reform, and seven proposed recommendations based upon the work group discussions and input from the over 100 GME experts who attended a summit in May. The report is posted on the IGME website. Members are encouraged to provide their comments to the work group as soon as possible. The deadline for submitting feedback is Monday, November 16 around noon. Feedback can be emailed to Alyson Schuster at The work group will compile the feedback for the members to review and incorporate. The final report will then be sent to the Secretary of Health at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for review and submission to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation by December 31.
HSCRC Extends Deadline for Transformation Implementation Program
The Health Services Cost Review Commission has extended the deadline for hospitals to submit applications to the Transformation Implementation Program by two weeks, to December 21. The program is designed to improve care coordination and population health in support of the All-Payer Model. If you have questions, email
Recruitment Underway for Stopping Sepsis in Long-Term Care Collaborative
Reducing sepsis has been identified as a priority focus area across the health care spectrum. To assist with reducing incidences of sepsis, the Maryland Patient Safety Center (MPSC) has been leading the Improving Sepsis Survival Collaborative with 21 hospitals across the state. MHA and MPSC recently worked with VHQC, Maryland and Virginia's Quality Improvement Organization, to broaden the scope of this sepsis work and launch "Stopping Sepsis in Long-Term Care." Skilled nursing facilities that most frequently send septic patients to the hospitals participating in the collaborative are being recruited to join. This collaborative will launch in January. Please contact Justin Ziombra with any questions.
CHRC Issues Call for Proposals for FY 2016
The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) this week issued its Call for Proposals for fiscal year 2016 to solicit grant proposals in support of three strategic priorities: 1) Expanding health care access for low-income and uninsured Marylanders; 2) Addressing minority health disparities and promoting health equity, and 3) Helping to reduce avoidable hospital utilization through increased community partnerships. Click here for the RFP.
The CHRC will look to support projects in the following four areas this year:
  1. Promoting comprehensive women's health services and reducing infant mortality rates
  2. Expanding access to dental care
  3. Integrating behavioral health service delivery and addressing the heroin and opioid epidemic
  4. Expanding access to primary and preventative care services and chronic disease management 

A public conference call will be held to answer questions from potential applicants on Wednesday, November 18, at 11 a.m.  No RSVP is required. The public may participate by calling 1-866-247-6034
, Access Code: 4102607046. Letters of Intent are due to CHRC on December 15, and full grant proposals are due to the CHRC on January 11, 2016. The CHRC expects to award approximately $1 million in new grant funding in this round.
MHA Gathering Regulatory Reform Input
MHA is gathering suggestions from hospital leaders to submit ideas for regulatory reform. Responses to our online tool will be presented to Gov. Larry Hogan's Regulatory Reform Commission on an ongoing basis. This commission is examining ways to make the state more efficient. The form asks that you designate a category, provide a brief description of the issue and then offer a potential solution. The form can also be accessed from MHA's home page,
MHEI Conference Asks Leaders to Think
While many conferences are designed to provide answers, MHEI's recent Leadership Conference did much more than that.

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HHS Issues Snapshot of First-Week Open Enrollment Activity
More than 543,000 people selected a health plan through the federally-facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace during the first week of open enrollment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced this week.

Tuesday, November 17
Medicare Payer Relations Task Force meeting
MHA Council on Financial Policy meeting

Wednesday, November 18
Behavioral Health Task Force meeting
Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting

Thursday, November 19
Financial Technical Work Group meeting
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, November 7
The Baltimore Sun, By Scott Dance, November 7
Modern Healthcare, By Andis Robeznieks, November 10
Kaiser Health News, By Michelle Andrews, November 10
NPR, By Audie Cornish, November 10
Kaiser Health News, By Shefali Luthra, November 11
NPR, By Andrea Hsu, November 11
Global Budgeting Webcasts Slated
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in collaboration with MHA and the American Hospital Association's Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence, is providing a webcast series over several upcoming weeks on Global Budgeting for Hospital Services. Today's webcast will feature MHA's President and CEO, Carmela Coyle, along with Carroll Hospital CEO Leslie Simmons. The webcast, titled Case Study, is at 3:30 p.m. and can be viewed HERE.
Future sessions include: 
  • Global Budgeting in Your Neighborhood (Nov. 24, 12 p.m.): Featuring Darrell Gaskin, PhD, associated professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • Across the Care Continuum (Dec. 4, 1 p.m.): Featuring John Chessare, MD, president and CEO, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Vincent DeMarco, president, Maryland Healthcare for All! Coalition, and Jonathan Blum, executive vice president, CareFirst Blue Cross.
  • The Future from the Federal Perspective (Dec. 18, 11:30 a.m.): Featuring Patrick Conway, MD, acting principal deputy administrator, deputy administrator for innovation and quality, chief medical officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 
Previous Sessions (video available here): 
  • The Maryland Experience (Nov. 5): Featuring Health Services Cost Review Commission Chairman John Colmers and Executive Director Donna Kinzer