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
  • Working on Consumer Costs

    August 05, 2019
    We know from media reports, legislative action, and comments from community members that health care bills often confuse and distress patients. Concerns have amplified since insurers started to narrow their networks and to raise consumer cost-sharing to ever greater levels.​
    Full story
  • Best Foot Forward

    July 29, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Scrutiny in the media and among lawmakers in Annapolis has called into question the soundness of governance of our hospitals and health systems. Those pursuing this line of inquiry are not finished. We expect this matter to gain steam again as the 2020 legislative session approaches.​
    Full story
  • Ensuring Access to Affordable Coverage

    July 22, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Affordable health care coverage is essential for people to have access to the care they need. It is particularly important in Maryland, where our success under the Total Cost of Care Model rests on improving the health of the state’s entire population. We can’t prevent unnecessary hospital use unless more Marylanders can afford coverage.
    Full story
  • Promoting Health Equity

    July 15, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    All Marylanders deserve an equal opportunity to achieve optimal health — regardless of social, economic, or demographic differences. Though we all share this goal, health disparities persist stubbornly.
    Full story
  • Finding a Remedy for Food Insecurity

    July 01, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    We talk a lot these days about the social determinants of health – those things other than genetics, personal choices, and health care that affect how healthy each of us will be. In discussions I’ve had recently, it’s striking how often food insecurity is mentioned as a top challenge – especially given Maryland’s high per capita income.
    Full story
  • What's Your Novel Payment Model Idea?

    June 24, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Our state’s hospitals and health systems continue to strive for new and different ways to transform care. To support that work, your Maryland Hospital Association is leading the Stakeholder Innovation Group (SIG) which convened at the request of the Maryland Health Secretary Robert Neall. Part of the group’s work was the launch of the Innovations for Better Health website. This inventory demonstrates what we already knew: Hospitals and care providers are working together to innovate and advance health care for all Marylanders.
    Full story
  • Global Budget Update

    June 17, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    The Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) granted Maryland’s hospitals their largest global budget increase in recent memory last week — a 3.59% increase in total revenue (3.28% per capita) for fiscal year 2020.​ The average hospital is expected to receive about 3.3% growth in total regulated revenue — or 3% per capita.​
    Full story
  • Addressing Workforce Challenges

    June 09, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    A highly trained and fully engaged workforce is essential for Maryland’s hospitals as you strive to deliver the best clinical care along with a superior experience for patients. We know you face challenges filling in-demand positions, retaining good talent, combating workplace violence, and more.
    Full story
  • Maryland Outperforms Nation on Health Spend

    June 03, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Health care costs are up nationwide, but in Maryland, hospitals and health systems are controlling health care spending while improving the quality of care.​ That is an impressive win under our unique agreement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which requires all payers — Medicare, Medicaid, employer-sponsored insurance plans, and others — to pay the same rates.​
    Full story
  • Addressing the Behavioral Health Crisis

    May 28, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    May is Mental Health Month. Though we in health care don’t need a designated month to know that our nation — and our state — is in a behavioral health crisis.​
    Full story
  • A Fresh Perspective on Patient Experience

    May 20, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Maryland’s hospitals have steadily raised their patient experience scores. And, while our hospitals are improving faster than the nation, it has not been enough to close the gap. Delivering a consistently positive experience to all patients remains a challenge.​
    Full story
  • Saying Thank You

    May 13, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Today marks the start of National Hospital Week. We at MHA want to share our appreciation for all of you – the more than 100,000 people who advance the health and well-being of 6 million Marylanders.​
    Full story
  • Thanks for the Input!

    May 06, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    We, the staff of MHA, rely on member input to fulfill our mission advocating for, and helping improve the performance of, Maryland’s hospitals and health systems. Throughout the year, we seek and receive your valuable input. Our multiple councils, task forces and work groups churn through serious issues – quality and safety of care, payment policy, behavioral health, medical liability, and much more.​
    Full story
  • Medicare Changes

    April 29, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    The past two weeks have seen a lot of Medicare-related news. For starters, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a series of proposed Medicare payment rules for federal fiscal year 2020, including:​
    Full story
  • Innovation: Why Take the Risk?

    April 22, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Today health care industry conversations often veer toward innovation. This isn’t new for research, clinical advancement, care delivery, diagnostic tests, surgical procedures and the like; but we now think about it in relationship to, well, just about everything.​
    Full story
  • Important Legislative Wins

    April 15, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    The 439th session of the Maryland General Assembly, which ended April 8, was a strong 90 days for our state’s hospitals and health systems.
    Full story
  • Public Health Challenges

    April 08, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Maryland’s hospitals embrace an innovative, far-reaching model of health care delivery that holds the promise to keep people healthier and reduce the overall cost of providing care for all.​ To help meet these goals, the state’s hospitals work to address the causes of poor health and disease risk in our communities, which often are rooted in how and where we live, learn, work, and play.
    Full story
  • Treating Trauma

    April 01, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Heartbreaking news out of Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., in recent weeks — in which survivors and loved ones of those affected by violence died by suicide — have put the devastating effects of trauma in the spotlight.​ Maryland’s health care leaders are all too familiar with the long-term effects of violence, natural disasters, and other harrowing events. You see suffering in the community. You know that health care workers may experience serious secondary trauma while caring for patients.
    Full story
  • Would Medicare for All Suit Maryland?

    March 25, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Our nation has entered a new political season, and a vocal group of elected officials and presidential candidates are promoting a single-payer health care system, or Medicare for All.​ Hospitals in Maryland, and nationwide, support universal coverage. And we cannot deny that our current system has flaws. Though, as David Brooks explained in plain language recently, moving to a single-payer system run by the federal government is impractical.​
    Full story
  • MHA Evolves With Health Care Landscape

    March 18, 2019 By: Bob Atlas
    Last week we announced our esteemed colleague, Mike Robbins, will retire on June 30. Until that date, Mike will continue to lead all efforts on matters related to the Health Services Cost Review Commission. We are fully prepared to continue our high-energy regulatory advocacy work beyond Mike’s transition. Moreover, your changing needs have spurred us to alter our staff structure. We are strengthening our focus on quality and health improvement, efficiency in total costs of care, and the widening uses of data in health care management
    Full story