January 29, 2016
24-7: For Hospitals, More than a
Catch Phrase
There's a classic question often asked of firefighters: "How is it that you can run into a burning building, while everyone else is running out?"
The intent of this query is to probe the unique combination of personality traits firefighters have that enables them to do their jobs - bravery, dedication, selflessness, honor, to suggest a few. After seeing how the caring women and men who work at Maryland's hospitals performed during this epic blizzard, it's clear that they possess the very same qualities.
There were far-reaching, field-wide efforts, like providing food and shelter for staff who literally lived at the hospital for extended periods of time so they could care for those in need. And of course there were many individual, heart-warming anecdotes, like a member of the cardiac catheterization team at Meritus Medical Center who jogged a mile to the hospital from his home in the middle of the storm to care for a patient with an emergency heart condition, or the National Institutes of Health nurse who filled tubs with snow so a 7-year-old girl recovering from a bone marrow transplant could make a snowman indoors.
Those are just a couple of examples of how hospital workers delivered yet again, just as they do every day of every year no matter the crisis.
There were challenges as well. Things like getting patients home when roads were closed, transporting specialized staff to sites where they were needed, and coordinating services for homeless people who had been medically discharged, to name a few. We'll be examining these issues and working with state and local agencies to improve communications and emergency management processes going forward.
But these few hiccups take nothing away from the heroic effort of hospital workers in the face of any challenge that is presented. From infectious disease outbreaks to blizzards to opioid abuse epidemics, hospital workers meet and pass every trial. That's a testament to your leadership and it's something in which every hospital leader should take pride. We at MHA certainly do.

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MHA's 2016 Annual 
Membership Meeting

June 13 and 14, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore 

February 3
Maryland Healthcare Education Institute Joint Commission Overview 2016
At Work in Annapolis
Several hundred bills were officially introduced this week, including several that are of interest to the field: the Care Act, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and the No-Fault Birth Injury Fund. MHA continues to learn more about Governor Hogan's proposed fiscal year 2017 budget, including a breakdown of the $4.8 million in new funding to implement recommendations of the Lt. Governor's Heroin & Opioid Emergency Task Force. The budget allocates $1 million for drug treatment under the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, and the remaining $3.8 million is for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and a Center of Excellence for Prevention & Treatment under the Behavioral Health Advisory Council.
On February 4 at 1 p.m., MHA will brief the House Health and Government Operations Committee on several issues, including free-standing medical facilities, the state's Medicare waiver and the report released by MHA's work group on access to obstetric services.
You can read more in this week's Advocacy Dashboard.
CDC Issues Guidelines on Zika Virus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week issued interim guidelines for U.S. health care providers caring for infants born to mothers who traveled or lived in an area with Zika virus transmission during their pregnancy. A marked increase in infants born with microcephaly, a birth defect resulting in smaller than normal head size, has been reported in the Zika outbreak in Brazil. It is not known how many of the cases are associated with the virus. Only about one in five people infected with the mosquito-borne virus will get sick, and their illness is usually mild. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red eyes). For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/zika. Click here for AHA's Readiness Advisory on the issue.
MPT Airs Special on Heroin
Maryland Public Television recently aired a special on the many faces of heroin and the crisis that Maryland's communities are facing. "Faces of Heroin" introduces viewers to some of the local people who have been affected by this epidemic. The 25-minute special can be viewed here.
Hopkins Co-Sponsors Summit on High Reliability
Johns Hopkins' Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality is presenting the High Reliability Health Care Summit 2016 from February 22 to February 24 in Baltimore. This inaugural event will feature thought leaders and industry professionals from across the globe. Health care organizations aspire to be high reliability organizations but are faced with unique challenges given their complexity. Thought-provoking presentations and in-depth panel discussions will highlight the challenges and successes within the health care field. Click here for more information.
RWJF Seeks to Build a Culture of Health
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is launching a call for proposals for Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health (P4A). Founded in 2015, the program funds research identifying policies, laws, and other regulatory tools in the public and private sectors that can support RWJF's mission to build a Culture of Health. RWJF wants to work with experts from different fields, including health care, public health, early childhood development, education, transportation, housing, architectural design, built environments, economics, and others. You can learn more during an informational webinar (register here) on Tuesday, February 16, from 1 - 2 p.m.
Population Health
Education for All
Everyone recognizes by now that the move toward population health will require leadership at all levels of the organization. We also recognize that many of the staff who are not currently in leadership positions will be assuming that mantle of leadership - either formally or informally - as we proceed down this road of reform today, tomorrow and into the future.

PRIME Offers Capital and Construction Solutions
Prime, through its affiliation with MedAssets, would like to introduce you to MedAssets Capital and Construction Solutions, which deliver end-to-end capabilities to help you complete successful, on-time and on-budget construction or renovation projects.

AHA, Others Urge Supreme Court to Reverse Decision Expanding FCA Liability
The AHA, Federation of American Hospitals, and Association of American Medical Colleges this week asked the Supreme Court to reverse a federal appeals court decision that would permit opportunistic lawsuits that "shoehorn regulatory violations into [False Claims Act] liability."

Tuesday, February 2
MHA's Behavioral Health Task Force meeting

Friday, February 5
Carmela Coyle presents at the Atlantic General Hospital Board of Trustees and
  Medical Staff Leadership Retreat in Delaware

Modern Healthcare, By Melanie Evans, January 23,
The Baltimore Sun, By Michael Dresser, January 24
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, January 25
The Baltimore Sun, By Natalie Sherman, January 26
The Washington Post, By Ovetta Wiggins and Josh Hicks, January 26
Baltimore Business Journal, By Sarah Gantz, January 27
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, January 27