Weekly Messages From MHA

Weekly Message From MHA

  • Maintaining Positive Momentum

    July 13, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    Last week the number of people hospitalized in Maryland with COVID-19 fell below 400 for the first time since March. We expect some fluctuation, yet over the last two months, trends in our state are positive—fewer hospitalizations, less death, and a lower rate of positive tests.
    Full story
  • Spotlight on Hospital Prices

    June 29, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can require hospitals nationwide to publicly share charges they negotiate with payers, a federal court ruled Tuesday. The field has prepared for this rule since last year, yet we’d hoped this burdensome mandate would be scrapped through a challenge from health care groups, including the American Hospital Association.
    Full story
  • Our Commitment to Racial Equity

    June 22, 2020 By: Bob Atlas
    Two weeks ago I shared that we can and must do better as a field to address racism as a public health crisis. As you and your associates demonstrated during the recent White Coats for Black Lives tributes and in your celebrations of Juneteenth yesterday, it is not enough to denounce hateful behavior and systemic racism—we must act.
    Full story
  • Hospitals on Front Lines of Human Trafficking Crisis

    January 20, 2020 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Fact: victims of human trafficking are seen in our hospitals and other sites of care every day. Your caregivers are on the front lines of this crisis. Studies show with certainty that survivors of trafficking are likely to have contact with the health care system during their abuse.
    Full story
  • Success, By the Numbers

    January 20, 2020 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    Maryland hospitals have delivered wins under the All-Payer Model (2014-18) and the new Total Cost of Care Model contract with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). In addition to managing spending, we’ve grown savings while decreasing cumulative and year-to-date spending growth for Medicare beneficiaries.
    Full story
  • Caring For Maryland

    January 20, 2020 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    Hospitals today face unprecedented challenges, seemingly from all sides. As we aim for better health for Marylanders, we encounter obstacles to building our workforce, upgrading our facilities, and strengthening our bonds with the communities we serve.
    Full story
  • Looking to the ‘20s

    December 26, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    As we enter the holiday time and reflect on the year now ending, it’s striking how many challenges the Maryland hospital field faced and what you’ve accomplished. The new Total Cost of Care Model launched and you blew through the first year’s savings target. You built upon quality achievements from the previous model of lower readmissions and 30-day mortality.
    Full story
  • Hospitals Serve as Safety Net for Behavioral Health Patients

    December 26, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    As hospitals across the country face criticism for long emergency department wait times, the dearth of community-based behavioral health resources must be flagged as a significant cause. Many of your hospitals contend with behavioral health patients who simply have nowhere else to go—both at onset of an episode and when ready for discharge—due to lack of capacity in more appropriate care settings.
    Full story
  • Evaluation of the All-Payer Model

    December 09, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    Without fanfare, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) posted the final evaluation of the Maryland All-Payer Model. Overall the findings suggest the Model works. One good sign: CMMI’s project leader for Maryland praised the Model on social media last week, saying, “What I’m most impressed with is the decrease in potentially avoidable hospitalizations.”
    Full story
  • Collective Action, Unified Message

    November 18, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    The other day we got a preview of the headwinds the hospital field can expect to face when the Maryland General Assembly session opens in seven weeks. MHA participated in a Senate committee briefing on facility fees. At the briefing, MHA highlighted our field’s proactive effort to improve transparency for patients.
    Full story
  • Disaster Preparedness

    November 13, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    You may have watched in recent weeks as California residents fled their homes while flames from wildfires inched closer and hospitals faced the daunting task of swiftly evacuating all their patients.
    Full story
  • Exemplifying Team Power: The Nats!

    November 05, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    Like many of you, I spent much of October staying up past my bedtime, bingeing on ice cream, and shouting at the TV—all while watching the Washington Nationals in inning after inning of nail-biting baseball. Fortunately, the elevated stress paid off. And, even if they hadn’t won the final game, it would’ve been worth it.
    Full story
  • Seismic Change in Annapolis

    October 28, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    Maryland Senate President Mike Miller’s recent announcement that he will step down from the leadership position he held for 33 years marks a seismic change for the chamber. Though Miller intends to remain a senator, his absence at the dais will be felt in Annapolis.
    Full story
  • 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.
    Full story
  • Push For Price Transparency

    October 14, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    A groundswell of support is forming at the state and national levels to make hospital billing more understandable and transparent for our patients. Feeding that push are nearly daily headlines about patients who received bills that exceeded their expectations, people who were confused after receiving two bills for what looked like the same service, and hospitals’ efforts, legitimate as they may be, to collect on unpaid debts.
    Full story
  • Blue Skies Ahead?

    October 07, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    To best position Maryland hospitals and health systems for the future, partnering with state and local agencies is key. To that end, MHA participates in a group Secretary of Health Robert Neall convenes to help ensure the Maryland Model reaches its aims of better care and better health.
    Full story
  • Working as One, Moving as One

    October 01, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    Your hospitals compose the Maryland Hospital Association, and in turn, the association is the hospitals. Your needs, concerns and direction drive our work. And, thus MHA’s success is yours.
    Full story
  • Increasing Impact

    September 23, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    To best support your needs, MHA must constantly balance the demand to address current issues while anticipating opportunities and challenges to come. Last Thursday and Friday, MHA’s Executive Committee of the Board met to ponder the issues shaping health care in Maryland over the next decade.
    Full story
  • CMS Demands Value

    September 16, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    Last week AHA held a biennial national meeting of all nine Regional Policy Boards. CMS Administrator Seema Verma spoke on the final day, delivering strong words on the federal government’s push toward value-based payment. “We must move past the status quo, and past a fee-for-service payments to a system in which we’re paying providers to keep people healthy, reduce costs and deliver better outcomes,” she noted.
    Full story
  • No Surprises on Surprise Billing

    September 10, 2019 By: Bob Atlas, President & CEO
    A bipartisan effort to address surprise medical bills is expected to be among lawmakers’ top priorities when Congress returns this week from August recess. MHA is engaged on the issue —including the House’s No Surprises Act and Senate’s Lower Health Care Cost Act—and has been since it arose months ago.
    Full story
  • Hospitals Power Maryland's Economy

    August 26, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Every day thousands of committed health care professionals come to work in your hospitals to ensure we deliver the highest quality care to patients. That puts you among the state’s largest employers — directly employing 107,000 people, supporting 113,000 related jobs, and contributing more than $30 billion each year to our state’s economy.
    Full story
  • Laying the Groundwork for 2020

    August 19, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    MHA recently returned from the Maryland Association of Counties conference, where our team met with state and local leaders, lawmakers, policymakers and influencers to advocate and better position us as we head into the 2020 legislative session.
    Full story
  • Responding to Tragedy

    August 12, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio about one week ago put physicians, nurses and other health care workers once again on the front lines of tragedy. We grieve for the victims and admire the resolve of these first responders to act quickly and skillfully to care for the injured and help their communities heal.
    Full story