December 23, 2015
A Year of Change and Triumph
"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice."
- T.S. Eliot

As we come to the close of 2015 and take a moment to reflect on the past year, it becomes clear that Maryland's hospitals are on the cusp of a historic transformation. It is a transformation - an evolution, really - that historians may well come to regard as a defining moment in the way our nation cares for the ill and infirm.
 
Our country's past is marked by distinct eras, each of which has left an indelible print on our lives. From the violent birth of a nation via revolution and the ugliness of slavery and postbellum atrocities to the industrial revolution, the great world wars and the progressive era, America is defined by change.
 
So too is your small sliver of American history. As custodians of people's very lives, hospitals hold a sacred place in the national landscape. That's why what you do each day is so important, and why the dramatic change in the past year means so much.
 
To name a few: fewer Marylanders are getting infections during their hospital stays, fewer Marylanders are having to return to hospitals for care, fewer women are having early elective deliveries, fewer Marylanders are being prescribed addictive painkillers, more Marylanders are getting treatment for behavioral health needs, hospitals stand ready to treat outbreaks of infectious disease, and Maryland is deeply committed to reducing health care disparities.
 
These only scratch the surface of all that's happened in 2015. Taken collectively, your work in the past year has formed its own language, if you will - "Medicare savings," "readmissions reductions," "present-on-admission codes," and more. It's not clear yet what the vocabulary for next year will be, but as Eliot notes, "...next year's words await another voice."
 
Thank you for your sage voice to help guide MHA as we assist you with achieving your organization's goals. And thanks once again for all you're doing to lead the nation in health care transformation.
 
Happy holidays!

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MHA's Update newsletter will return Friday, January 8, 2016.
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