As I was going through the interview process for MHA’s President & CEO position, many of you pointed out to me that MHA had a staff that was second to none, one that was working hard to bridge the gap between the position’s vacancy last year and my starting this week. Now that my first week is coming to a close, I can see what you mean. This is a group of people who love what they do, and who are dedicated to the cause of Maryland’s hospitals and health systems.
But that is because you, each and every hospital leader, have set the tone and vision for what health care in Maryland should be, and how your association should pursue that vision. MHA truly is a member-driven organization; from the task forces and work groups to the councils and the Executive Committee, it is heartening to join an organization having such widespread participation among its members. At the heart of your work is, of course, the All Payer Model, so critical for four decades and even more so now as we work to enhance it for the next decade. This staff, and I as the new leader, understand its importance. There are other issues of course, especially as the legislature is active in Annapolis. But each of those in some way of course revolves around or impacts the success of the All Payer Model that is the foundation of health care in Maryland.
I suspect that HHS Secretary Alex Azar had Maryland in mind when he told the Federation of American Hospitals this week that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation “vests HHS with tremendous power to experiment with new payment models.”
Likewise, you vest Maryland’s unique system with tremendous power; the power to make a difference in your communities as the Maryland experiment continues and adapts, just as hospitals are doing. I look forward to meeting each of you in person, and to working with you to keep Maryland and its hospitals at the forefront of innovation.