December 18, 2015
Your Online Home Base
Just about halfway through this year, your MHA launched a brand new online platform at to be hospitals' home base for information and materials on advocacy, our progress under the new waiver, and much, much more. The revamped is mobile-friendly, user-intuitive and content-driven, and as we look back at the past six months of its existence, we are proud that so many of you have taken us up on our offer to be a part of it.
We've heard from many hospital leaders that you and your teams have found the new site helpful in accessing data, presentations, clinical tools and other types of information. To date, some 350 individuals have created website accounts to access information available to MHA members only (any employee of an MHA member or corporate affiliate member is eligible for this access).
And, on average, those users are spending more time and visiting more pages on MHA's website than their colleagues in other states when we compare our statistics to national trade association benchmarks. This is a sure sign that the site is serving its purpose of serving you.
That said, we're always looking to make things better and the new online platform is highly customizable. If you have ideas about how we can improve the site's organization, functionality or some other aspect, please let us know. This is your home base for all things related to hospitals in Maryland, and we welcome your feedback. And we urge those of you who have not created your own account to feel free to do so (click here to get started). The site is here for you!
The website will of course play a prominent role during the coming General Assembly session, as it will become a clearinghouse of legislative materials, from issue papers to infographics, from testimony to top 10 lists. We hope you'll continue to make use of our new digital offerings (keep an eye out for text message alerts for government relations leads during the 2016 session) as yet another way to stay engaged with your MHA.

Register for Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model
Implementation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model (HHVBP), which includes several Maryland organizations that have hospital-based home health agencies, begins January 1. However, only 61 percent of the organizations in the program have registered for the new payment model, a legal requirement. If you have not registered and you missed the December 17 forum on this topic, you should contact the HHVBP Help Desk at or visit the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model  website. 
Pharmacies Can Dispense Overdose Reversal Drug
The Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH) this week announced a statewide standing order allowing pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription. Naloxone is a prescription medication that reverses overdoses related to opioids, a class of drugs that includes heroin and such prescription pain relievers as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and methadone. In addition to expanding access to naloxone through the Overdose Response Program, the order also allows physicians, advanced practice nurses, dentists and other health care providers to prescribe naloxone to a patient they believe might be in a position to assist someone experiencing an opioid overdose. This means that Marylanders can go directly to their trusted provider to get naloxone and can be educated on how to use it to save someone's life. DHMH encourages pharmacists, other health care providers and anyone in interested in obtaining naloxone to visit the Overdose Response Program webpage.
Quarterly Financial, Utilization Reports Available
The financial reports for the third quarter of 2015 are now available for MHA members. To access the Accounts Receivable and Combined Financial Trends and Utilization reports, click here. Reports are available only to members.
New HAI Committee Members
The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) last week announced new hospital representatives for its Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) Advisory Committee. The new members include Stephanie Mayoryk, director of infection prevention and control at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and Rajesh Shah, director of quality and regulatory affairs and infection prevention at Doctors Community Hospital. The committee's mission is to identify specific HAI prevention targets for Maryland consistent with the priorities established by the State of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, identify evidence-based practices needed to achieve and sustain progress in protecting patients from the transmission of HAIs that are serious and increase morbidity and mortality, and monitor and communicate progress in meeting prevention targets. Meetings for this committee begin in January and will take place quarterly. Past meeting agendas and summaries can be found here.
AHA Seeking Committee Members
The American Hospital Association is seeking hospital and health system trustees to help develop national health care policy. Appointments are available on AHA's Committee on Governance and on Regional Policy Boards. Applications are due February 24. To qualify, applicants must be associated with an AHA institutional hospital/system, have a minimum of three years of trustee experience by January 2017 and be the sole candidate from an organization. Community advisory and foundation board members may apply. Approval of appointments will take place in the fall. Contact AHA's Rita Harmata at
MHEI Offers New Opportunities for 2016
Every year MHEI asks its members which issues are the most important for us to work on to provide programs, services, or information to hospital leaders.

Prime Offers Solutions for Market Analyses, Intelligence and Forecasting
Prime's affiliate, MedAssets, has acquired Sg2, a leading provider of health care market intelligence, strategic analytics and clinical consulting services. Sg2 delivers an easy access platform of predictive analytics and consulting services that helps more than 1,400 hospitals and health systems - from small community hospitals to large integrated delivery networks - understand current and future market dynamics and capitalize on opportunities for growth and performance.

Reminder: Hospitals Encouraged to Complete Health IT Survey
AHA encourages all hospitals to complete the eighth annual Information Technology Supplement to the AHA Annual Survey.

Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, December 14
Delmarva Public Radio, By Don Rush, December 11
Baltimore Business Journal, By Ryan Sharrow, December 14
Modern Healthcare, By Dave Barkholz, December 14
Baltimore Business Journal, By Rick Seltzer, December 15
The Star Democrat, By Katie Willis, December 16