Pathways Forward

September 27, 2021
Last week MHA’s principal governing body, the Executive Committee, met to explore ways to secure the future of the Total Cost of Care Model. At the start, they heard from Maryland Health Secretary Dennis Schrader and Health Services Cost Review Commission Chair Adam Kane that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants more value: more cost savings, more care transformation, more health care quality improvement and disparities reduction, and more work to advance population health.

Yet, our committee also heard from the field serious concerns that global revenue budgets, after years of caps on growth, don’t stretch far enough to allow hospitals and health systems to both make that extra investment and fulfill their respective core missions. We must rethink the funding paradigm.

The committee agreed hospitals cannot meet more ambitious aims alone. We need alignment with and accountability from the public sector—state and local—as well as commercial payers and others from across the health care field.

Health care capacity was also top of mind for both Secretary Schrader—as outlined in the Master Plan for state-run facilities released earlier this month—and Chairman Kane, who asserted that we need to rationalize the capacity of private sector facilities, too.

Also high on the agenda was to acknowledge the extreme stresses our field faces with respect to human capital. They decided to launch a Task Force on Maryland’s Future Health Workforce. This group will outline a vision and plan for the long term, and it will look for quick wins to bolster efforts that MHA and individual members have already undertaken.

This was the second year our Executive Committee couldn’t hold an in-person retreat, but much was accomplished. I was greatly encouraged by the dedication of our leaders and by their unity of purpose.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO 
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