WEEKLY MESSAGE FROM MHA

  • Finding a Remedy for Food Insecurity

    July 01, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    We talk a lot these days about the social determinants of health – those things other than genetics, personal choices, and health care that affect how healthy each of us will be. In discussions I’ve had recently, it’s striking how often food insecurity is mentioned as a top challenge – especially given Maryland’s high per capita income.
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  • What's Your Novel Payment Model Idea?

    June 24, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Our state’s hospitals and health systems continue to strive for new and different ways to transform care. To support that work, your Maryland Hospital Association is leading the Stakeholder Innovation Group (SIG) which convened at the request of the Maryland Health Secretary Robert Neall. Part of the group’s work was the launch of the Innovations for Better Health website. This inventory demonstrates what we already knew: Hospitals and care providers are working together to innovate and advance health care for all Marylanders.
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  • Global Budget Update

    June 17, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    The Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) granted Maryland’s hospitals their largest global budget increase in recent memory last week — a 3.59% increase in total revenue (3.28% per capita) for fiscal year 2020.​ The average hospital is expected to receive about 3.3% growth in total regulated revenue — or 3% per capita.​
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  • Addressing Workforce Challenges

    June 09, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    A highly trained and fully engaged workforce is essential for Maryland’s hospitals as you strive to deliver the best clinical care along with a superior experience for patients. We know you face challenges filling in-demand positions, retaining good talent, combating workplace violence, and more.
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  • Maryland Outperforms Nation on Health Spend

    June 03, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Health care costs are up nationwide, but in Maryland, hospitals and health systems are controlling health care spending while improving the quality of care.​ That is an impressive win under our unique agreement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which requires all payers — Medicare, Medicaid, employer-sponsored insurance plans, and others — to pay the same rates.​
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  • Addressing the Behavioral Health Crisis

    May 28, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    May is Mental Health Month. Though we in health care don’t need a designated month to know that our nation — and our state — is in a behavioral health crisis.​
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  • A Fresh Perspective on Patient Experience

    May 20, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Maryland’s hospitals have steadily raised their patient experience scores. And, while our hospitals are improving faster than the nation, it has not been enough to close the gap. Delivering a consistently positive experience to all patients remains a challenge.​
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  • Saying Thank You

    May 13, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Today marks the start of National Hospital Week. We at MHA want to share our appreciation for all of you – the more than 100,000 people who advance the health and well-being of 6 million Marylanders.​
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  • Thanks for the Input!

    May 06, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    We, the staff of MHA, rely on member input to fulfill our mission advocating for, and helping improve the performance of, Maryland’s hospitals and health systems. Throughout the year, we seek and receive your valuable input. Our multiple councils, task forces and work groups churn through serious issues – quality and safety of care, payment policy, behavioral health, medical liability, and much more.​
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  • Medicare Changes

    April 29, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    The past two weeks have seen a lot of Medicare-related news. For starters, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a series of proposed Medicare payment rules for federal fiscal year 2020, including:​
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  • Innovation: Why Take the Risk?

    April 22, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Today health care industry conversations often veer toward innovation. This isn’t new for research, clinical advancement, care delivery, diagnostic tests, surgical procedures and the like; but we now think about it in relationship to, well, just about everything.​
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  • Important Legislative Wins

    April 15, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    The 439th session of the Maryland General Assembly, which ended April 8, was a strong 90 days for our state’s hospitals and health systems.
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  • Public Health Challenges

    April 08, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Maryland’s hospitals embrace an innovative, far-reaching model of health care delivery that holds the promise to keep people healthier and reduce the overall cost of providing care for all.​ To help meet these goals, the state’s hospitals work to address the causes of poor health and disease risk in our communities, which often are rooted in how and where we live, learn, work, and play.
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  • Treating Trauma

    April 01, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Heartbreaking news out of Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., in recent weeks — in which survivors and loved ones of those affected by violence died by suicide — have put the devastating effects of trauma in the spotlight.​ Maryland’s health care leaders are all too familiar with the long-term effects of violence, natural disasters, and other harrowing events. You see suffering in the community. You know that health care workers may experience serious secondary trauma while caring for patients.
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  • Would Medicare for All Suit Maryland?

    March 25, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Our nation has entered a new political season, and a vocal group of elected officials and presidential candidates are promoting a single-payer health care system, or Medicare for All.​ Hospitals in Maryland, and nationwide, support universal coverage. And we cannot deny that our current system has flaws. Though, as David Brooks explained in plain language recently, moving to a single-payer system run by the federal government is impractical.​
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  • MHA Evolves With Health Care Landscape

    March 18, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Last week we announced our esteemed colleague, Mike Robbins, will retire on June 30. Until that date, Mike will continue to lead all efforts on matters related to the Health Services Cost Review Commission. We are fully prepared to continue our high-energy regulatory advocacy work beyond Mike’s transition. Moreover, your changing needs have spurred us to alter our staff structure. We are strengthening our focus on quality and health improvement, efficiency in total costs of care, and the widening uses of data in health care management
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  • Achieving Zero Harm

    March 11, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Maryland’s hospitals are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of every person in your care.​ The advances in patient safety that you are striving for are needed urgently. As has been widely reported, nationally, more than 250,000 deaths each year may be caused by medical errors.​ Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 10-16, offers a chance to refocus on eliminating harm.
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  • Expanding Coverage ... Again

    March 04, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Hospitals have long been dedicated to the proposition that the people they serve must have health insurance, so that they can afford care and so that risks and costs are spread equitably. That enables people to live healthy, productive lives. However, about 1 in 20 Marylanders still lack health insurance. And because of efforts at the federal level to undercut the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured once again could rise.
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  • Better Hospitals, Better Health

    February 25, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Patient safety and the delivery of quality care are central to every decision Maryland’s health care leaders make. It comes as no surprise, then, that evidence is accumulating showing that our hospitals are making great strides in improving patient safety and raising quality.​
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  • One Step at a Time

    February 18, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    There is a crisis in our state, faced by an estimated one in five Marylanders: mental health and substance use disorders (SUD).​ That is why your Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) created the Behavioral Health Task Force. Fifteen months ago, that group – made up of hospital leaders and experts in mental health and SUD — presented the Roadmap to an Essential, Comprehensive System of Behavioral Health Care for Maryland.
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