Next week marks the start of the 438th session of the Maryland General Assembly, and this year’s gubernatorial election is expected to factor heavily into lawmakers’ decisions over the next three months. Put another way, this session is expected to be dominated far more by politics than policies. Still, hospitals have much to fight for in 2018, including the field’s top three priorities:
- Behavioral health: Based on the recommendation from MHA’s Behavioral Health Task Force for an essential, comprehensive behavioral health care system, the goal will be to support efforts to strengthen the behavioral health care workforce and expand access to crisis services.
- Sick tax: Previously referred to as the “Medicaid tax,” efforts this year will focus on protecting the $35 million spend-down to which legislators and the governor committed last year.
- Liability costs: This annual priority aims to mitigate Maryland’s litigious environment so that health care resources go to patients, not defensive medicine or expensive court battles.
To help your advocates in Annapolis push for successful legislation on these issues and many others, MHA has developed a host of legislative materials including an at-a-glance overview of priorities, single-page issue papers, and easy-to-read infographics.
And as is the case every year, the key goal of your MHA team in Annapolis is to foster a legislative and regulatory environment that supports your work to succeed under Maryland’s unique agreement with CMS. The current model, as well as the one expected to begin in January 2019, enables hospitals to deliver high-quality care while keeping costs in check. These are benefits that everyone can get behind, and it is through our field’s unified voice that legislators will understand the importance not only of Maryland’s model, but also of the critical role you play in making it work for the patients and communities you serve.