As you well know, the past year has been tumultuous for health care.
At the national level, a fierce debate over the Affordable Care Act came down to a simple question for hospitals: how would any change affect your ability to care for patients and communities? At the state level, Maryland’s hospitals continued to be on the leading edge of the transformation from volume to value all while working with the state on the next iteration of the state’s unique hospital payment system, efforts that are expected to soon bear fruit in the form of a new contract with CMS. And closer to home, your Maryland Hospital Association said farewell to Carmela Coyle, who served as president and CEO for nine years.
Reflecting on 2017, it is clear that the only constant is change. It is how we adapt to that change that defines us. And by all accounts, Maryland’s hospitals have excelled at responding to change. Consider some of your collective accomplishments in the past year: the implementation of universal measures to mitigate the state’s opioid crisis, a reduction in readmissions that outpaces the national trend, and new community-based initiatives that mean Marylanders’ health care providers are connected like never before.
This is meaningful work of which you and your teams should be proud. And we at your hospital association are proud of the work we do to help you succeed.
During this holiday season, I take some extra time to reflect on the past year, so that I can learn from my experiences and plan for what’s ahead. When it comes to the health of your hospital families and your own families, I hope that this is a time of peace and joy. And as we move forward in the coming year, I am heartened knowing that our greatest strength comes from each other.
Wishing you and yours happy, restful, and safe holidays.