Weekly Messages From MHA

Weekly Message From MHA

Maryland, Again, Is a Trailblazer

July 06, 2018 By: Bob Atlas

On Monday, July 9, Maryland’s top leaders will join with their counterparts in the federal government for a signing ceremony in Annapolis to celebrate a new agreement that extends our state’s role as a national health care innovator.

Governor Larry Hogan and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma will share highlights of the Maryland Total Cost of Care Model – the Maryland Model, for short. The new agreement, which goes into effect in January, builds on the current All-Payer Model by creating greater incentives for collaboration among health care providers and by setting challenging spending growth targets.

Hospitals are the heart of this new framework. To succeed, we must partner with other health care providers across the spectrum, as well as payers, to enhance quality, hold the costs of all services in check, and improve the health of whole populations.

This is no small challenge. But we’re not starting from scratch.

Under the All-Payer Model, you’ve proven that significant advances can be made in these arenas. Since the start of the current model in January 2014 through June of this year, hospitals have:

  • Held per capita hospital spending growth to a cumulative 9.7 percent, about half the target growth of 19.3 percent
  • Saved Medicare more than $1 billion, well ahead of the five-year target of $330 million
  • Reduced readmissions by 8.25 percent, beating the target reduction of 5.6 percent
  • Reduced the hospital-acquired conditions rate by 52.7 percent, surpassing the 30 percent target

With the new model’s laser focus on how we care for people – whether it’s in our facilities, in physicians’ offices and other non-hospital settings, or proactively in their homes and communities – the opportunities to do even better are boundless.

Monday’s ceremony is both a recognition of the extraordinary achievements you’ve made so far and an expression of the desire for you to do more. That desire comes from the same place as the core mission of your hospitals and health systems: to help people.

With that as our “true north,” the path before us is set. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to walk it with you as we work together to help all Marylanders live healthier lives.