Messages from MHA's President

MHA Friday Update Weekly Messages

Coverage Remains Key

by Your MHA Team | 11/03/2017

For the millions of Americans who have health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, and the millions more who still need coverage, the past six months have felt a bit like a yo-yo. First, Congress was going to repeal Obamacare, then it was going to replace it, then it was going to fix it.

In the end, it did nothing at all – for now.

Still, as the debate in Congress has shifted to tax cuts, the uncertainty over health care policy remains. The federal budget could cut billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid, posing a significant risk to hospitals and other providers and, more importantly, the lives of the patients you serve. And some lawmakers are promising to revisit ACA repeal in the future.

Amid this turmoil, on Wednesday, the annual open enrollment period for 2018 for health plans sold via ACA exchanges opened. And although this period is truncated – just six weeks compared to 12 weeks in previous years – its opening signifies something important: that the coverage so critical to hospitals and their patients is still here.

That’s no small feat, and ensuring broad-based coverage has been a focus of the hospital field nationally and here in Maryland since repeal efforts began. Without broad-based coverage, we simply cannot do what is needed to take care of communities and meet the requirements of a new all payer model. This week’s start of open enrollment offers a clear message: the exchange is still here, and it is still a necessity for those who would find themselves either uncovered or under-covered without it.

We know the fight to protect coverage isn’t over. And as the national conversation about health care continues, for hospitals, politics will always take a back seat to patients.

Messages From MHA President and CEO Carmela Coyle

  • Farewell

    September 29, 2017 By: Carmela Coyle
    “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”--Winnie the Pooh​ Who could imagine that Winnie the Pooh would so aptly sum up my feelings about leaving MHA? But he does. It is hard to say goodbye because you have made it that way. To a person, Maryland’s hospital leaders have enriched the past nine years of my life with your dedication to MHA, your compassion for your patients and staff, your determination to maintain Maryland’s unique status as a national leader and, through it all, your friendship.​
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  • Bolstering the Ranks

    September 22, 2017 By: Carmela Coyle
    As MHA gears up for the 2018 legislative session in Annapolis, amid uncertainty regarding federal health care policy and final negotiations on the next phase of the All-Payer model, your association has several new faces coming on board. They will make sure not only that the voice of hospitals is heard, but that legislators and policymakers understand the critical role hospitals play their communities and throughout Maryland.
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  • Hospitals as Safe Harbors

    September 15, 2017 By: Carmela Coyle
    Violence is a growing problem in our country, and Maryland is not immune to the threat. Baltimore now has the nation’s highest homicide rate, more than 51 for every 100,000 people. Statewide, there are more than 446 violent crimes for every 100,000 Marylanders. And more and more, hospital staff on the front lines of care are feeling the pain, sometimes literally, sometimes emotionally.​
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  • National Issues, Local Voices

    September 08, 2017 By: Carmela Coyle
    Next week in Washington, D.C., the American Hospital Association will host its annual National Regional Policy Board meeting, bringing together hospital and health care leaders from across the country to discuss some of the most pressing issues our field will face in the coming years. You may remember that for governance purposes the AHA breaks the nation up into nine regions (we’re in Region 3), each of which meets three times a year to foster communication between the AHA and its members and state hospital associations. The RPBs provide input on public policy issues considered by the AHA board and identify needs unique to each region.
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  • All in a Life's Work

    September 01, 2017 By: Carmela Coyle
    This holiday weekend, as families try to squeeze in a few last beach days or host backyard barbecues before fall arrives, thousands of Maryland’s health care professionals will be at their hospital posts throughout the state.
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  • Opioid Crisis Demands Action

    August 25, 2017 By: Carmela Coyle
    The Maryland Department of Health has reported that drug- and alcohol-related deaths continued to climb in 2017 – the 550 deaths in the first quarter of 2017 represent a 44 percent increase from the same period last year. The need for effective measures to mitigate the crisis is becoming even more pressing.
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