April 8, 2016
The Finish Line Is in Sight
The countdown toward Sine Die - the close of the 2016 General Assembly legislative session - has shifted from days to hours, and while some of the major pieces have fallen into place, there are still some issues we'll be watching and shepherding until the final gavel is struck at midnight on Monday.
The good news is that the budget, which includes a $25 million reduction in the longstanding, onerous Medicaid hospital tax, has been approved. A dangerous bill that would have tripled the cap on non-economic damages remains bottled up in committee. Also, a hospital-supported bill that guarantees Health Services Cost Review Commission rate payment for a new type of freestanding medical facility is moving along. 
As we do each year, MHA will send an at-a-glance summary to all members at the end of session Monday night. And in the coming weeks, MHA will distribute three additional items to help with post-session planning: 
  • The 2016 Legislature: Hospital Post-Session Action Plan (provides you with details and dates on any actions hospitals need to take in response to legislation)
  • The 2016 Legislature: Session Summary (a complete summary of all health care bills of interest, both as an attachment and a link due to its length)
  • The 2016 Legislature: PowerPoint Presentation (a tool for you to share outcomes of the legislative session with your board, staff, public, etc.) 
This was a challenging session for many reasons, not least of which was the sheer volume of bills introduced. The hard work and time invested by hospital leaders during these three months has been invaluable in educating legislators about what hospitals need to better serve their communities. Speaking with one voice, we have made important progress on several issues, and stopped several bills that would have impeded your ability to take care of people.

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MHA's 2016 Annual 
Membership Meeting

June 13 and 14, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore

At Work in Annapolis
With only two days left, the 2016 legislative session is quickly coming to a close. Several important pieces of legislation are making their way through both chambers. The House crossfile of MHA's freestanding medical facility bill passed the House this week and is headed to the Senate. Two bills addressing parity and network adequacy passed both chambers: a bill that would help make equitable the treatment standards and payment for behavioral health and other health care services for patients utilizing the Maryland Medical Assistance Program, and a bill that holds insurance carriers accountable for keeping accurate provider directories. Read more in today's Advocacy Dashboard.
MHA Annual Meeting Registration is Open
Registration materials are now available on our website for MHA's 2016 Annual Membership Meeting June 13 and 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore. Detailed meeting information will be mailed to hospital senior leaders later this month. In the meantime, click here to download the meeting brochure and click here to register for the meeting.
Contact: Kathy Gotwalt
Maryland Healthcare Education Institute Fills Gaps
Hospital members of MHEI are increasingly using our service to fill the gaps created by the numerous changes occurring in their organizations, especially when it affects management and leadership staff.

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AHA Cybersecurity Alert
Awareness and active evaluation of new and emerging threats and vulnerabilities is critical for hospitals to effectively prepare and manage cybersecurity risks. To keep hospitals informed of significant threats and vulnerabilities that may affect the health care sector, the AHA is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal agencies to share important cybersecurity intelligence.

Tuesday, April 12
MHA's Council on Clinical and Quality Issues meeting

Wednesday, April 13
MHA's Total Cost of Care Work Group meeting
Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting
The Washington Post, By Josh Hicks, April 3
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels and Meredith Cohn, April 4
The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, April 4
The Baltimore Sun, By Bryna Zumer, April 5
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, April 5
The Baltimore Sun, By Allison Eatough, April 6
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, April 6