On Friday morning, Maryland Secretary of Health Laura Herrera Scott, M.D., visited the MHA offices to speak with and hear directly from hospital leaders. Secretary Herrera Scott shared that during her first 30 days she has begun a deep dive into the available data and an assessment of staffing, partnerships, and processes. She praised hospitals for their role as “an incredible partner in the state’s care delivery system.”
Noting she was eager to listen, find areas for collaboration, and gather information, Secretary Herrera Scott asked hospital and health system CEOs to help her understand what is working and what can be improved in the state’s health system.
Hospital CEOs shared concerns related to the state’s behavioral health needs, post-COVID inflation, and workforce shortages as well as upstream and downstream challenges that contribute to emergency wait times.
Secretary Herrera Scott asked what hospitals see as the best way forward with the Total Cost of Care Model. Bringing in additional stakeholders and sectors, building cooperation among state agencies, and evaluating elements of the Model that could be adjusted to account for differences between rural, urban, academic, and community settings, along with regulatory barriers and misaligned incentives were among the many suggestions.
From the conversation, it is clear Dr. Herrera Scott has a deep understanding of health care policy and financing and is willing to tackle tough issues. What stood out even more was her openness to hearing directly from hospitals about their concerns and ideas for a better Maryland. MHA looks forward to furthering this partnership with Secretary Herrera Scott and the entire Moore Administration.