The State’s New Diabetes Action Plan: Potential Implications for Hospitals

October 22, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
Recently the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) released a new Diabetes Action Plan that aims to create conditions conducive to better health and reduce the impact of diabetes on Marylanders. MDH understands the plan will require an “all in” effort from a wide variety of actors, including state and local policymakers, payers, employers, school boards and administrators, community groups and others.
The plan is extensive, and we have found the recommendations for action are most relevant to hospitals and health systems. Drawn heavily from the American Diabetes Association’s 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, the suggestions are organized by where an individual is on the continuum of diabetes. 
MHA will focus on efforts that will help hospitals to meet our targets under the Total Cost of Care Model contract. We’re inclined to concentrate our energies on people who have the disease—13% of the total population and 26% of the Medicare population are estimated to have diabetes mellitus, diagnosed or not. Exacerbations and complications, often preventable, not only add to costs but worsen patients’ lives.
We know most of your organizations already have traction in this area, along with some successful programs. What is needed to sustain those initiatives? Can they be scaled up? What else could really make a difference and is feasible to do? Who are the best outside partners and what should we expect of them? Please share your comments with me or Traci La Valle by November 4. 
MHA intends to leverage the Diabetes Action Plan as we continue to support the field in engaging other stakeholders.
Bob Atlas
President & CEO