Weekly Messages From MHA

Weekly Message From MHA

  • Spotlight on Hospital Prices

    June 29, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can require hospitals nationwide to publicly share charges they negotiate with payers, a federal court ruled Tuesday. The field has prepared for this rule since last year, yet we’d hoped this burdensome mandate would be scrapped through a challenge from health care groups, including the American Hospital Association.
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  • Our Commitment to Racial Equity

    June 22, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    Two weeks ago I shared that we can and must do better as a field to address racism as a public health crisis. As you and your associates demonstrated during the recent White Coats for Black Lives tributes and in your celebrations of Juneteenth yesterday, it is not enough to denounce hateful behavior and systemic racism—we must act.
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  • Coming Together Through Crisis

    June 15, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    Monday would have been the MHA 2020 Annual Membership Meeting. It was the right decision to cancel it, at the same time it’s disappointing to miss seeing so many of you in person. Beyond the need to keep social distancing, we know right now you need time to unburden yourselves of the stress the last three months has put on your hospitals and systems. Plus, you continue to care for COVID-19 patients and many others who are in worse shape due to postponing care. What’s more, you have to prepare for a possible second surge.
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  • Racism and Health

    June 06, 2020 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    Like people across our nation, we at MHA and throughout the hospital field have been deeply affected by the tragic, senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. These losses take a toll, not only on their grieving families, but on us all, as we struggle with the very real consequences of longstanding, systemic racism.
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  • A New Way Forward

    June 01, 2020
    COVID-19 has upended all our lives. In the process, it has revealed how we might deliver even better care and make the system work more efficiently for all. The most striking example is telehealth, which became the norm in Maryland and nationwide almost overnight. With the need to keep social distance, many patients and health care providers turned to their computers, phones, and other devices to seek and to deliver care.
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  • Maryland Unites

    May 26, 2020
    It’s been roughly two months since Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our state. In that time, we at MHA, and all of Maryland, have been inspired by your teams every day. The dedicated people at hospitals answered the call quickly and with full force. Those efforts have saved many lives.
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  • New Phase Begins in COVID Crisis

    May 18, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    It seems Maryland reached the peak in COVID-19 hospitalizations about a week ago. This was welcome news that Gov. Larry Hogan capped off this week by lifting our state’s stay-at-home order and replacing it, effective yesterday, with a “safer at home public health advisory.”
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  • #HeartsforHealthcareWorkers

    May 11, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    Since the start of the COVID-19 emergency, we’ve seen people world over—and here in Maryland—find unique and heartwarming ways to show support and appreciation for hospital workers. They’ve donated precious protective gear, delivered meals and goodies, and posted messages of thanks on your campuses and online for your health care heroes.
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  • Maryland Hospitals: Safe. Ready. Waiting.

    May 04, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    As your hospitals shore up supplies and staff to care for the surge of COVID-19 patients, you’re also seeing a remarkable decline in other patients—those with emergency care needs. Rightly, much of our attention is focused on responding to this public health emergency and making sure you have the resources in place to deliver life-saving care. Yet, it’s important also to understand why Marylanders are avoiding emergency departments. Incredibly, some hospitals report seeing half or even less of the volume they did pre-COVID in their EDs.
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  • Home of Inventiveness

    April 27, 2020
    This public health emergency has challenged all our organizations—and us personally and professionally—in so many ways. Yet, your hospitals and systems are rising to the challenge. Since the first cases emerged in Maryland, the stories of your inventiveness have been inspiring.
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  • When Will We Reopen?

    April 20, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    This week the White House issued guidelines for “Opening Up America Again.” And Governor Hogan announced Maryland “is now in a position to plan the gradual rollout of the state’s recovery phase.” He laid out four building blocks: (1) Expanding testing capacity, (2) Increasing hospital surge capacity, (3) Ramping up supply of PPE, (4) Building a robust contact tracing operation.
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  • Humanity During Crisis

    April 06, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    In the toughest of times, we often see the best of humanity. That has been true during past crises and it is now. Health care workers are stepping up to the front lines of this public health emergency—as they always do—more than earning the moniker of health care heroes. Communities are showing great support for them, with local businesses volunteering resources and our citizens donating their time, talents, and precious protective gear to your efforts to keep Maryland—and your workforce—safe.
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  • The Playbook: Trust

    March 30, 2020
    So many are saying there’s no playbook for what we’re going through right now. You know better. You’re working nonstop according to the health emergency protocols that were prepared for situations of this sort. What you’re battling most are challenges created outside your control, like the faulty supply chain of PPE and testing materials and ventilators.
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  • Leading During Crisis

    March 23, 2020
    You know this. The events of the past week were unimaginable just a short time ago. The rapid spike in cases of COVID-19 around the country and here in Maryland is challenging us all like never before.
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  • Next Phase in Coronavirus Response

    March 16, 2020
    This is a grave moment. The coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak is escalating. Fortunately, so is Maryland’s response to it. Hospitals are out front, working well with partners to protect the health of Marylanders. Gov. Larry Hogan’s bold decision to close schools, along with other measures to limit social contacts, has wide-ranging effects on our hospitals, our communities, and our lives. But it’s the right thing to do. We expect to hear even more from him mid-day Monday.
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  • Taking on Coronavirus in Maryland

    March 09, 2020
    The situation regarding coronavirus/COVID-19 is evolving at a fast pace. As of Sunday evening, the number of confirmed cases in Maryland remains just a handful, and it appears that all those patients acquired their illnesses on foreign travel. But a number of new cases have been reported in neighboring areas. We need to prepare for community spread. Your hospitals are clearly on the front lines, already being called and visited by people who believe they have symptoms and want to be tested or treated. This all needs to be managed.
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  • Mid-Session Reflection

    March 02, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    A longtime Annapolis insider recently remarked that in nearly three decades of experience, he’s never seen so many bills aimed at hospitals.​ They’re challenging us on how we run our hospitals, care for and bill our patients, and deliver community benefit. The narrative is often negative—and often far off base. Opponents misconstrue data to deliver an unflattering blow to our field.​
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  • In Search of the Right Care

    February 25, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    Hospitals in Maryland deliver care to every person who comes through their doors. But it seems for some of our patients, those doors only swing in one direction. A recent National Public Radio piece on this issue caught my attention. It points out dozens of children in Maryland’s foster care system are languishing in hospitals when they no longer need hospital-level care. Sadly, we often face barriers transitioning young patients – particularly those with behavioral health concerns—to facilities or community-based services better suited to their needs.
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  • Keeping Caregivers Safe

    February 18, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    You work every day to provide a safe and happy setting for patients to get great care. Yet sometimes violence erupts, often directed at caregivers in the hospital. Stemming violence against caregivers is a priority for hospital and health system leaders. In collaboration with the Maryland Nurses Association, MHA compiled best practices and resources and we’ve been in touch with your teams to connect them with state’s attorney liaisons in each county.
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  • Turning Tables on Consumer Cost Exposure

    February 07, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    Hospital billing and collection practices are in the news a lot lately, often misinformed and sensational. Maryland legislators are paying attention. Legislative action is coming this General Assembly session on hospitals’ cost transparency, financial assistance policies, and account collection practices.
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  • A Model for the Nation

    January 31, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    Maryland’s hospitals and health systems are getting it right. More validation keeps rolling in. The message is resonating in Annapolis, where it really counts.
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  • Caring For Ourselves So We Can Care For Others

    January 26, 2020 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    It’s likely by now, nearly four weeks into 2020, that many of us already have given up on our New Year’s resolutions. Those well-intentioned goals to eat better, work out more and invest more time and energy into our physical and mental well-being already have been replaced by stresses at work and home that make these new habits seem impossible to form.
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