August 5, 2016
Change at the HSCRC
At the August 10 meeting of the Health Services Cost Review Commission, the chair up until now occupied by Dr. Stephen Jencks instead will be taken by Joseph Antos. Antos was quietly named by the Governor last month to replace Jencks, who had been eligible for reappointment after his term expired June 30.
This is a return to the HSCRC for Antos, a former two-term member who served from 2004 until 2012.  Well-versed in health care policy and an economist at heart, his resume reaches into various corners of federal health policy: the Congressional Budget Office, the Health Care Financing Administration (precursor to CMS), the Department of Health & Human Services, the World Bank, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Labor. As the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, his research focuses on the economics of health policy - including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the uninsured, and the overall reform of the health care system and its financing -- and the impact of health care expenditures on federal budget policy. You can read more about his work here.
For us as a field, the appointment of a new commissioner is an opportunity to work with an expert who understands all sides of the issues. Thanks to Antos' previous experience on the HSCRC, there isn't much of a learning curve about Maryland's unique payment model. His distinct perspective is welcome at this sensitive time of the all-payer model's five-year tenure, as all stakeholders negotiate the path forward.
I had the opportunity to meet with Antos a couple of weeks ago. He is direct and thoughtful, asking probing questions about the status of the model thus far and its direction moving ahead. His will be a knowledgeable, valuable and strong voice in upcoming discussions with state and federal regulators. MHA is your strong voice before these agencies, and we look forward to working with a new commissioner to ensure that the views of Maryland's hospitals remain central to every conversation that affects your ability to serve your patients and communities.

MHA to Hold PQI Meeting for Clinical Leaders
MHA invites clinical leaders at Maryland's hospitals to attend MHA's 2016 summit on care delivery redesign: PQI's: Clinical Leadership to Reduce Avoidable Utilization on September 23 at MHA's offices in Elkridge. The half-day workshop is intended to help leaders implement specific strategies to reduce avoidable utilization.  Maryland's leading thinkers on population health and chronic care management will be there to share their stories of success for improving performance on Prevention Quality Indicators and Potentially Avoidable Utilization. Attendance is free but registration is required.
Topics and presentations include:
  • Identifying high utilizers and developing home-based interventions
  • Emergency Department care management
  • Skilled Nursing Facility rounding
  • Data access and analysis 

Contact MHA's Nicole Stallings, Vice President for Policy & Data Analytics, for more details on who should attend and how to register.
MHA to Cosponsor Hospital Cybersecurity Symposium
The Maryland Health Care Commission in collaboration with the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society Maryland Chapter, the Health Services Cost Review Commission, and the Maryland Hospital Association will convene a Hospital Cybersecurity Symposium on September 7 at the Westin BWI. Health care leaders and security professionals are invited to attend this event at no charge. For more information and to reserve your spot, click here.
HSCRC Calls for Papers on Updating Performance Measurement
The Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) has issued a Call for Technical/White Papers on updating and refining the performance-based payment programs and approaches for achieving the CMS Model Demonstration and system transformation goals. Interested parties should first let HSCRC know they plan to respond to the call for papers so that the commission can plan for the volume to be received. Email and include "PM Strategy White Paper Submission" in the subject line. All papers should include an abstract of no more than one page, and all supporting data analyses and workbooks should be provided in an MS Excel or compatible format. Questions should be directed to and include in the subject line "PM Strategy White Paper Question," or by telephone to Dianne Feeney (410-764-2582) or Alyson Schuster (410-764-2673). The deadline for final papers has been extended to September 9.
HSCRC Seeks Advisory Committee Nominations
The HSCRC has issued a call for nominations to a Consumer Standing Advisory Committee being established to provide the HSCRC, staff and commissioners with expertise and the consumer perspective on the design and implementation of the all-payer model. Members can include hospital representatives who work with patient and family advisory committees and patient-centered care transition or coordination programs. Members must also reflect the gender, racial, ethnic and geographic diversity of the state and a diverse cross-section of consumers, consumer advocates, relevant subject matter experts, and other stakeholders. Click these links to find out more about the scope and charge of the committee and an overview of its inaugural projects. Interested parties can nominate themselves or others. Nominee information in the nomination form must be sent via email and include "CSAC Nomination" in the subject line. This call for nominations was initially open until July 15 but has been extended by HSCRC.
MHCC Accepting Grant Applications for Telehealth and mHealth
The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is accepting grant applications for two new projects, one using telehealth and one using mHealth. Although two separate funding announcements, applicants are welcome to submit two separate Letters of Intent in response to each announcement.
Telehealth Technology Project - Round Five:
Telehealth Technology Project - Round Five aims to demonstrate the impact of using telehealth to increase access to health care and improve population health in rural communities. Submissions of primary care and behavioral health related use cases are encouraged. The proposed case must serve patients in at least one of the counties on the Eastern Shore (i.e., Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester). For any questions about the telehealth grant announcement, please contact Christine Karayinopulos .
Improving Patient Outcomes using mHealth Technology Project:
The mHealth technology project aims to demonstrate the impact of using mHealth to promote patient engagement and improve patient outcomes.  Findings will be used to support the advancement of mHealth in Maryland. This grant announcement is not intended to fund a telehealth use case. For any questions about the mHealth grant announcement, please contact Justine Springer.
Each announcement has a funding total of $100,000 to be competitively awarded to one or more projects and requires a 2:1 financial match. Letters of Intent are due by 5 p.m. August 25. Click here for more information.
MHA Thanks Hospitals for Breath of Fresh Care Coverage
MHA and several partners launched the Breath of Fresh Care campaign last month, with a new website ( aimed at helping consumers understand Maryland's health care transformation. We would like to thank all of the hospitals that have shared the website on social media and on their own sites. We encourage all hospitals to do the same, and to display the rack cards we've mailed to you for your waiting areas. There is also a video on the site that you can air in your waiting rooms, emergency departments, hospital TV stations, etc. Contact David Simon with questions or feedback.
What Makes the Health Care Consumer Tick?
At a time when engaging the health care consumer has never been more appealing, health care organizations are increasingly failing to meet the rising expectations placed upon them by those they serve - everyday people.

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

FDA Alerts Providers to Recall of Drug to Treat Serious Bacterial Infections
The Food and Drug Administration this week alerted pharmacy and nursing professionals to a voluntary recall of seven lots of an injectable drug used to treat certain serious bacterial infections, which may contain glass particulate matter.

Tuesday, August 9
MHA Council on Clinical and Quality Issues meeting

Wednesday, August 10
MHA Behavioral Health Task Force meeting
Health Services Cost Review Commission meeting

Thursday, August 11
MHA Financial Technical Work Group meeting
The Daily Record, By Steve Lash, July 29
Washington Business Journal, By Tina Reed, July 29
Carroll County Times, By Emily Chappell, August 1
Baltimore Business Journal, By Carley Milligan, August 1
The Baltimore Sun, By Michael Dresser, August 2
WMDT, By Jennifer Flueckiger, August 2
The Baltimore Sun, By Pete Pichaske, August 3