April 1, 2016
Innovator, Mentor, Friend
I've had the pleasure of knowing Dick Davidson since he arrived at the American Hospital Association in 1991 after 21 years leading MHA. Even then he had already begun planting the seeds of mentorship that would populate our field with leaders. And in 16 years at AHA he did the same thing ... by example, by personality, by intelligence ... guiding his charges to the future that we would help shape and steward. During this sad, sad week for everyone who knew Dick, we were reminded once again of how much he loved to lead, loved to cut through the acronyms and bureaucracy and red tape to make the solution to any challenge simple: does it make things better for the patient? He started as a patient, recruited from his hospital bed in 1965 by the Maryland-DC-Delaware Hospital Association to run their education programs. Meeting from his bed with the hospital CEO, who was on the search committee, Dick said "I don't know anything about hospitals except everything you do here seems stupid, and it just doesn't make any sense." Fortunately for our field, the CEO said "You're the kind of guy we need."
He was, indeed, the kind of guy we needed. The kind of guy whose loyalty and commitment made a difference - that's one reason MHA has had only three CEOs, and in AHA's 118-year history Dick's tenure was the longest. For 42 years he dedicated his career to helping hospitals be better at what they do by focusing on the patient. But he dedicated his life to his wonderful wife Janet - September will mark their 59th anniversary - and their three sons and grandchildren. It's so rare to meet people like Dick and Janet, much less spend decades with them ... but that was the norm when you became one of their many close friends.
Everyone who knew Dick admired the leader, valued the mentor, and loved the man. His legacy is a gift, and a responsibility, to us all.

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MHA's 2016 Annual 
Membership Meeting

June 13 and 14, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore

April 7
At Work in Annapolis
There is one week left in the 2016 legislative session. This week, the budget conference committee completed its work and the General Assembly gave final approval to the state's fiscal year 2017 budget. The budget includes a $25 million reduction in the Medicaid hospital tax as well as statutory language that provides the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene with the flexibility to fill a potential federal funding gap for Institutions for Mental Disease. MHA's freestanding medical facility bill passed the Senate this week, and we continue to advocate for and monitor several outstanding pieces of legislation as we enter the home stretch. Read more in this week's Advocacy Dashboard.
CMS 5-Star Rankings Resources Available
The American Hospital Association and MHA have provided resources to help hospitals address inquiries regarding the April 21 release of "star ratings" on the Hospital Compare website. AHA's talking points and more information about the "star ratings" are available here. Supplemental talking points from MHA are available here. In addition, AHA is encouraging hospital leaders to contact their senators and ask them to sign a letter to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt asking that the April 21 release be delayed until the ranking methodology can be improved.
Save the Date: CMS Hosting Innovation Event
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting the Region 3 Innovation Event on May 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the CMS Central Office in Baltimore. This will be an opportunity to hear from Practice Transformation Networks (PTN) and Support & Alignment Networks working to achieve health transformation through CMS' Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. PTN participants include Health Partners of Delmarva; Virginia Health Quality Center and the VHA/UHC Alliance. The American College of Physicians and the National Nursing Centers Consortium will share their plans to support large scale practice transformation. Invited QIN-QIO Telligen will demonstrate the Practice Assessment Tool. Stay tuned for registration information.
Helping Your Population Health Partners
The Maryland Healthcare Education Institute offers special opportunities for health care providers associated with your hospital.

Prime's Value to Member Hospitals
Prime is the shared service/group purchasing subsidiary of the Maryland Hospital Association. Its goal is to help member hospitals reduce the cost of care.

AHA Posts Resources to Help Hospitals Celebrate Donate Life Month

April is National Donate Life Month, commemorating those who have received or continue to wait for lifesaving transplants, as well as the donors who save and heal lives.

Wednesday, April 6
MHA Joint Quality - Finance Work Group meeting
The Washington Post, By Matthew Perrone, March 28
The Washington Post, By Andrea Peterson, March 28
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, March 29
The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, March 30
The Baltimore Sun, By David Anderson, March 30
Washington Business Journal, By Tina Reed, March 31