September 2, 2016
On Deck: Hospitals' PQI Challenge
As Maryland's hospitals have made strong progress on the All-Payer Model's five key metrics, federal and state regulators are increasingly focused on reducing the Total Cost of Care. Specifically, they are taking a hard look at individual hospital performance on Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs) and other types of Potentially Avoidable Utilization. That's why it's important to make sure your organization is represented at our upcoming PQI summit on September 23.
PQIs are a set of conditions developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for which good outpatient care can prevent the need for hospitalization or more serious complications. These conditions will play an increasingly important role in how the Health Services Cost Review Commission assesses hospital performance under the model, and how it allocates annual global budget updates. It's also expected that PQIs will be a factor in the hospital efficiency measure now being developed, another tool that could determine hospital revenue adjustments.
To help hospitals prepare for the coming focus on PQI, MHA is hosting a free summit on care delivery redesign: PQIs: Clinical Leadership to Reduce Avoidable Utilization. The September 23 summit will feature Maryland's leading experts on initiatives that have proven successful in addressing PQIs. Topics include: 
  • Identifying high utilizers and developing home-based interventions
  • Emergency Department care management
  • Skilled Nursing Facility rounding
  • Data access and analysis 

The summit is designed for population health leads and chief medical officers; if your organization has not already committed to sending a representative, there's still time to
register. We hope you'll be able to join your peers for another opportunity to learn about and implement best practices. It's another example of how hospitals' greatest strength under the new model truly is what we can learn from each other.

DHMH Provides Update on Zika Response
Dr. Howard Haft, Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, joined MHA members for a conference call Thursday to update the field on Maryland's Zika response. There have been 77 Zika cases in Maryland, all travel-related. In addition, DHMH has changed its methodology to authorize testing, previously reserved for people who have traveled to active Zika regions, to anyone who has symptoms consistent with Zika. DHMH has been working to inform the public about Zika and has been assisting the Maryland Department of Agriculture with mosquito abatement. More information is available at DHMH's website.

Contact: Meghan Allen
Computer Fire Safety Resources Available
Following reports in the past month about computer fires on workstations on wheels at two Maryland hospitals, MHA is sharing some web-based resources that could help prevent or mitigate such incidents. The National Fire Protection Association has some basic information about the hazards of lithium ion batteries (often the culprit in such fires). The association's report found that Li-ion batteries present several unique fire hazards when involved in a fire, due to an ignitable electrolyte liquid contained within such products, and that existing protection solutions used for other types of high hazard products and materials can be effective for protecting these batteries stored in bulk arrangements. Hemming Fire provides tips about how to manage the risk of these fires, including proper planning, storage methods and response protocols.
Care Transformation Public Forums to Begin in September
The Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, along with MHA and several other partners, will begin a series of public forums next month to help educate the consumers about the importance of getting the right care, in the right setting, at the right time. The first is September 14 at MedChi in Baltimore, followed by forums on October 18 in Towson, October 19 in Rockville, and October 27 in Columbia. (More details are in the link above.) These forums are sponsored by the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative Education Fund Inc., AARP Maryland, Maryland Hospital Association, Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches, Young Invincibles, and 1199 SEIU Health Workers East. 
Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders
With the Maryland waiver and population health taking up a lot of time and energy over the past couple of years, it is easy to lose sight of other important issues that still demand our attention.

Prime Offers Solutions for Market Analyses, Intelligence and Forecasting
Prime's affiliate, MedAssets, has acquired Sg2, a leading provider of health care market intelligence, strategic analytics and clinical consulting services. Sg2 delivers an easy access platform of predictive analytics and consulting services that helps more than 1,400 hospitals and health systems - from small community hospitals to large integrated delivery networks - understand current and future market dynamics and capitalize on opportunities for growth and performance.

AHA, Others Urge Senate to Act on Mental Health Legislation
A coalition of organizations, including AHA, is urging Senate action on mental health reform legislation when Congress returns next month from its summer recess.

Wednesday, September 7
MHA Total Cost of Care Work Group meeting

Thursday, September 8
Maryland Healthcare Education Institute Board meeting

MHA's offices will be closed Monday, September 5 for Labor Day.
The Washington Post, By Josh Hicks, August 26
Southern Maryland Online, August 26
The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, August 30
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, August 29
Modern Healthcare, By Steven Ross Johnson, August 30
The Baltimore Sun, By Andrea K. McDaniels, August 31
The Baltimore Sun, By Meredith Cohn, August 31
The Washington Post, By Arelis R. Hernandez, August 31