Messages from MHA's President

MHA Friday Update Weekly Messages

A Threat to Hospitals’ Charitable Purpose

by Your MHA Team | 11/10/2017

With the public release last week of a federal tax reform package, and its passage Thursday by the House Ways and Means Committee, Maryland’s hospitals face the possibility of losing an important means of raising money for critical infrastructure projects that support their mission of care.

Embedded in the tax proposal is a provision that would eliminate the tax-exemption for private-activity bonds, including 501 (c)(3) hospital bonds. For Maryland’s hospitals, all of which are not-for-profit, these bonds represent a significant revenue stream. In the past fiscal year, hospitals floated nearly $2 billion in tax-exempt bonds to support their work.

The tax-exemption enables hospitals to realize lower borrowing costs because investors are willing to accept a lower rate of return in exchange for tax-exempt interest. This furthers the charitable purposes of hospitals in providing care to all in need, including those who receive health care benefits under a federal or state sponsored health plan and those who are unable to pay for the cost of their health care.

Losing the exemption would place vital hospital services at risk, but the greater threat is the long-term fiscal stability of hospitals, whose overall impact on the financial well-being of their communities is far greater than any single infrastructure project.

MHA will share information about the potential impact on Maryland with our state congressional delegation; the American Hospital Association has sent a letter to Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and is encouraging hospital leaders to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to oppose this provision.

You know how challenging it can be to manage a hospital in the most stable environments, and today’s political climate, with fast-moving and evolving legislation and regulation, makes doing so all the more difficult. That’s why vigilance and action against threats like these are so essential: so that the care you provide for your patients and communities will not wane.

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.​
    Full story
  • 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.
    Full story
  • 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.​
    Full story
  • 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.
    Full story
  • 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.
    Full story
  • 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.
    Full story