May 6, 2016
All In on Equity of Care
Earlier this week, I had the honor of announcing to the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees that Maryland is the first state in the country to achieve 100 percent participation by its community hospitals in a national campaign to improve the health of minority populations by reducing disparities in health care.
And it was all thanks to you.
Over the past few months, Maryland's hospitals have been steadily pledging to participate in the Equity of Care campaign, a joint effort from the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, and America's Essential Hospitals, to eliminate health disparities - the preventable differences in how varied populations (defined by factors such as race or ethnicity, gender, income, and others) are affected by disease, injury, violence or access to health care.
In late April, the last two hospitals pledged, making Maryland a national leader once again.
This is something to be proud of, not only because it signifies your individual commitment to your community, but also the power of state unity in achieving a common goal. It's not only the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do. And those you care for will be better served as a result.
Should you need additional tools to help with your work, AHA has developed a new #123forEquity Toolkit. It contains a checklist of resources to help you achieve the #123forEquity goals; case examples and best practices; frequently asked questions about the campaign; a sample slide presentation you can customize and use with your board of trustees and community; and content you can place on your hospital's social media outlets and website.
Thank you for, once again, leading the way to a healthier life for all Marylanders.

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter
MHA's 2016 Annual 
Membership Meeting

June 13 and 14, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore

May 10
May 12
May 12
Register Now for MHA's Annual Membership Meeting
MHA's 2016 Annual Membership Meeting - A Breath of Fresh Care - will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore on June 13 - 14, and is designed for senior leaders of Maryland's hospitals, from CEOs and trustees to chief medical officers, chief nursing officers and others. Invitations have been mailed.  
Our Davidson Lecture speaker is The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy, former U.S. representative from Rhode Island. He is the founder of the Kennedy Forum and the co-founder of One Mind, a non-profit that is working to accelerate improved diagnostics, treatments and cures for brain injury, and eliminate thestigma that comes with mental illness.
Kennedy is the nation's leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. During his 16-year congressional career, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against these illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 -- and his brave openness about his own health challenges. Kennedy is also the co-author of "A Common Struggle," which outlines both his personal story and a bold plan for the future of mental health in America.  MHA will provide his book to each attendee.
May 14 is the reservation deadline for overnight accommodations at the Four Seasons Hotel. Hotel contact information can be found in the annual meeting brochure. Click HERE to register for the meeting.
Contact: Kathy Gotwalt
Hoyer Speaks at AHA Membership Meeting
U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, who represents Maryland's 5th Congressional District, addressed American Hospital Association members at AHA's annual meeting May 2. Introduced by Christine R. Wray, President of MedStar St. Mary's Hospital and MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, Hoyer discussed federal health policies critical to hospitals, including Medicare site-neutral payment for hospital outpatient departments, the new physician payment reform (MACRA) regulations, the opioid epidemic, and more. Hoyer offered a special welcome to new AHA President & CEO Rick Pollack, as well as to MHA President & CEO Carmela Coyle, and provided a personal tribute to former AHA and MHA President Dick Davidson, who died in March.
Quality Leaders Meet on MHAC Program
Hospital physicians and quality leaders from throughout Maryland this week met with representatives from 3M - whose software defines potentially preventable complications (the basis for Maryland's Hospital Acquired Conditions program) - to review concerns about the clinical appropriateness of aspects of the software's logic. MHA has secured a commitment with 3M and HSCRC to meet regularly to review hospitals' experience and consider requests to further refine the logic. MHA will circulate a summary of the resolutions agreed upon during the meeting.
Contact: Justin Ziombra
Report Highlights New Telehealth Efforts
The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) has released a report on efforts to advance telehealth in Maryland to improve care transitions between hospitals and nursing facilities.  The report includes updates of the projects implemented over 12 months beginning in October 2014 by the three grantees from the first round of MHCC's telehealth grant project:  Atlantic General Hospital with Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Dimensions Healthcare System with Sanctuary of Holy Cross and Patuxent River Health and Rehabilitation Center, and University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health with Lorien Health System. The report provides lessons learned from these projects and key telehealth implementation considerations for those interested in similar initiatives.
CMS Offers Social Security Number Removal Information
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week released an Informational Bulletin that provides details about the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI). In April 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), a part of which requires CMS to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare ID cards and replace existing Medicare Health Insurance Claim Numbers with a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI will be a randomly generated identifier that will not include a social security number of any personally identifiable information.
MHCC Wants Input on Transplant Services
The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) has released a draft State Health Plan for Facilities and Services for Organ Transplant Services. Informal public comments will be accepted until June 1 at 5 p.m. MHCC staff will review the comments received and may make additional changes in response to those comments before bringing a proposed regulation to the commission for consideration. More details can be found on MHCC's website.
MHA Executive Committee Minutes Available
The minutes from the March Executive Committee meeting are available on the Governance page on our website. Members must be logged in to download the minutes.
Celebrate National Hospital Week with AHA 'Thank You' Video, Twitter Chat
Participants at this week's AHA Annual Membership Meeting got a preview of a new AHA video honoring the more than 5 million people who care for patients, families and communities every day as part of America's hospitals and health systems. Created entirely from photos contributed by AHA members and personal membership groups, the video offers a special way to say "thank you" during National Hospital Week, which kicks off Sunday. All are encouraged to share the video through their websites and social media channels. On Wednesday, May 11 at 11 a.m., AHA will host a Twitter chat (#HospitalWeek) to discuss the many ways hospitals and their employees are Advancing Health in America. For more information, visit MHA will be promoting the event through our social medial tools.
kIDsafe Website Wins Award
MHA's website for the kIDsafe Maryland Program has received a silver Aster Award for excellence in medical marketing. The kIDsafe initiative, a joint public awareness campaign with the Office of the Attorney General aimed at reducing identity theft among children, includes the website, which provides details on how to place security freezes in a child's name and offers downloadable files for hospitals, pediatricians and the public to print.
Better Results from Better Communication
How many times have leaders thought: "If we only could have done a better job communicating..." results would have been much better or, problems would have been avoided, or misunderstandings wouldn't have generated so much angst.

Looking for a Cutting Edge Provider for Blood and Associated Services?
For more than 60 years, Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) has provided blood and blood components to hospitals throughout the Delmarva region, helping avoid blood shortages and saving thousands of lives with assistance from more than 150,000 current donors.

CDC Launches New Hand Hygiene Campaign
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week launched "Clean Hands Count," a campaign promoting adherence to the agency's hand hygiene guidelines to prevent health care-associated infections.

Tuesday, May 10
MHA Executive Committee meeting

Wednesday, May 11
Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting

Thursday, May 12
MHA Financial Technical Work Group meeting
NBC Washington, By The Associated Press, April 30
Hospitals & Health Networks, By Matt O'Connor, April 29
The Baltimore Sun, May 3
The Washington Post, By Ariana Eunjing Cha, May 3
The Washington Post, By Lena H. Sun, May 3
The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, May 5
ABC2 News, By Mallory Sofastaii, May 4