July 15, 2016
Transformation in Action
Earlier this week, a dozen women and men graduated from Frederick County's first community health worker program, a joint initiative of Frederick Memorial Hospital and the Asian American Center of Frederick. The program teaches participants to promote healthy behaviors, expand health literacy and help their neighbors navigate billing and insurance questions.
One of the graduates, Rosario Campos, said at the ceremony that she hopes to use her ability to speak Spanish to connect with Frederick's Hispanic community and knock down barriers standing between them and the care they need.
The graduation, which came after 160 hours of training for the health workers, is yet one more example of how hospitals are innovating to bring care into their communities and redefine the role of the hospital itself. These 12 community health workers will work directly with migrant, minority, and senior residents to supplement efforts to provide post-hospitalization care and support. These patients may have chronic illnesses, multiple co-morbidities or diseases and are high risk for readmissions because of ongoing barriers to health, such as inability to pay for medications, lack of transportation, limited ability to speak English or problems purchasing fresh, nutritious foods.
There are countless other examples like this throughout the state that are precisely the kind of activities legislators, regulators, media and the public need to hear more about.
This work and these stories are also at the heart of the A Breath of Fresh Care public engagement campaign, for which hospital public relations leads will be receiving materials next week.
In addition to the campaign, and the work you do with your local media outlets, we'd like you to share stories like Frederick's with us, so that we can capture and relate the full breadth of the amazing transformation story underway in Maryland as part of the Breath of Fresh Care website.
The work you're doing to improve health care is not going unnoticed, and it is collectively that the full impact of these efforts will be understood and appreciated by those we serve and those whose decisions affect your ability to innovate.

Network Adequacy Meeting Focuses on Accessibility
A meeting held Thursday by the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), the second in a series of nine to aid the development of commercial carrier network adequacy and accuracy regulations, focused on geographic accessibility standards for primary care providers, including behavioral health providers, and specialists. The regulations, under development in the wake of legislation passed during this year's General Assembly, will take effect on December 31, 2017, and call for standards to ensure that people enrolled in insurance plans have access to certain health care providers and services.

Rod Kornrumpf, Regional Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services for Union Hospital of Cecil County and University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health System, and a member of MHA's Behavioral Health Task Force, shared his experiences with the lack of community behavioral health providers. Kornrumpf said that under the modernized all-payer model, hospitals are working to keep people out of the hospital, but inadequate behavioral health provider networks impede their ability to help people stay well before they need hospital services and receive appropriate follow-up care when they do. Kornrumpf pointed out that both hospitals and carriers should support broad behavioral health networks. 

Consumer advocates and individuals representing insurance carriers also spoke at the meeting. Future meetings will focus on wait times, provider-to-enrollee ratios, and telehealth. A full meeting schedule and meeting agendas can be found here.
The Daily Record Honors Hospital CEOs as Most Admired
The Daily Record this week announced its 2016 Most Admired CEOs, a list that includes several hospital leaders. Honorees were selected based on their leadership and vision, competitiveness and innovation, community leadership and service, financial performance and growth, corporate leadership and board service, and nonprofit involvement. The hospital honorees are: 
  • Dr. Peggy Naleppa, Peninsula Regional Health System
  • Carmel Roques, Keswick Multi-Care Center
  • Lyle Sheldon, FACHE, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
  • Sheldon Stein, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital 
The honorees will be celebrated at a reception September 22 at BWI Hilton.
End-of-Life Council Accepting Applications
The Governor's Appointments Office (GAO) is accepting applications through August 9 from those interested in being appointed to the Advisory Council on Quality Care at the End of Life. The council meets four times a year at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Health Care Quality in Catonsville. Applications are being accepted for the following seats:  
  • One physician with experience in end-of-life care
  • One pharmacist with experience in end-of-life care
  • One physician with experience managing long-term care
  • One nurse with experience managing long-term care
  • One representative of the health insurance industry
  • One representative from a managed care organization
  • One representative of the legal community
  • A representative from advocacy groups for end-of-life care
  • A representative from religious groups
  • Two representatives of the general public with experience with end-of-life or long-term care issues
  • One representative of the hospital industry
  • One representative of the nursing home industry 
Applications may be submitted through August 9 via the GAO website. Click here for more information.
Applications Being Accepted for AHA Rural Hospital Leadership Award
The American Hospital Association (AHA) Rural Hospital Leadership Award recognizes small or rural hospital chief executives and administrators who have achieved improvements in local health delivery and health status through their leadership and direction. The award is designed to provide professional development and educational opportunities to outstanding small or rural hospital chief executives and includes a $1,500 stipend to offset the cost of attending an AHA educational program. The on-line form is available here.
AHA: Hospitals on an FTC Winning Streak 
In the past two months, federal courts have rejected the Federal Trade Commission's attempt to stop two hospital mergers: Penn State Hershey Medical Center's acquisition of PinnacleHealth System in Pennsylvania, and Advocate Health Care Network's purchase of NorthShore University HealthSystem in Illinois. According to an American Hospital Association legal advisory this week, the courts refused to adopt the FTC's methodology for defining the relevant geographic market. This methodology has served as one of the FTC's key litigation tactics in its recent hospital merger cases because it has enabled the commission to argue that the merging parties have few competitors. Both decisions are being appealed. On July 6, the FTC abandoned its efforts to stop the merger of two hospitals in West Virginia after the governor signed a law that effectively exempted hospital mergers from federal and state antitrust laws. For more details on these cases click here to read the Legal Advisory.
MHEI Offers Web-Based Discussions
MHEI's new website provides busy leaders with the opportunity to weigh in on "Hot Topics" and participate in discourse and exchange of ideas through a recent website addition.

Prime Presents Revenue Opportunity
The Mainsail Group helps clients find new and significant means of revenue and cost containment. They help hospitals form strategic partnerships with consumer brands in a manner that is supportive of a health system's mission of care.

Coalition Briefs Congress on Proposals to Rein in Soaring Drug Prices
The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing Wednesday held a Capitol Hill briefing and panel discussion on market-based solutions to the nation's soaring prescription drug prices.

Tuesday, July 19
MHA Council on Financial Policy meeting
The Baltimore Sun, By Michael Dresser, July 10
CBS Baltimore, By Tracey Leong, July 10
WMDT, July 12
The Frederick News-Post, By Sylvia Carignan, July 11
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, July 12
The Baltimore Sun, By Erin Cox, July 12
The Baltimore Sun, By Michael Dresser, July 13