MHCC   Announcements    Press Release

Maryland Health Care Commission Awards Grant for School-Based Teletherapy for Special Education Services to Charles County Public Schools

15 Maryland Hospitals Improve in National Patient Safety Score Card; Maryland Maintains Low Health Care Costs

Maryland Health Care Commission releases annual report on spending and use of health care services in Maryland’s privately fully-insured market for 2016

Maryland Health Care Commission Awards Medication Reconciliation and Management Telehealth Grant

10 Maryland Hospitals Improve in National Patient Safety Score Card;3 Hospitals Receive “A” Grades

Maryland Health Care Commission Awards Grant for School-Based Teletherapy for Special Education Services to Charles County Public Schools

Maryland Health Care Commission Awards Grant for School-Based Teletherapy for Special Education Services to Charles County Public Schools

Baltimore, Maryland (December 27, 2018). The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) announced today the award of a grant to Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) to increase access to qualified service providers via teletherapy. Charles County Public Schools will receive grant funding to demonstrate the impact of using teletherapy to expand access to special education services for eligible public school students in Charles County. The award was in response to a competitive grant announcement released in July 2018. The grant will operate January 2019 through July 2020. A maximum of $200,000 of funding is provided for the project.

CCPS plans to partner with a technology vendor to connect middle and high school students with special education needs to Maryland-licensed speech-language pathologists via teletherapy. The speech-language pathologists will provide speech services to each student in accordance with the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) determinations. The project has the following goals:

  1. Evaluate the impact of teletherapy in expanding access to speech services
  2. Identify best practices for teletherapy in schools
  3. Assess effectiveness of teletherapy in assisting students to meet IEP goals

Teletherapy in schools can enhance delivery of special education and related services, especially in rural and workforce shortage areas of the state where schools struggle to recruit direct service providers. Teletherapy can also help decrease the stigma associated with being removed from a classroom to receive services.

CONTACTS

For questions about this grant, please contact Eva Lenoir, program manager, Center for Health Information Technology and Innovative Care Delivery, Maryland Health Care Commission at Eva.Lenoir@maryland.gov or 410-764-3379.

For questions about this grant, please contact Eva Lenoir, program manager, Center for Health Information Technology and Innovative Care Delivery, Maryland Health Care Commission at Eva.Lenoir@maryland.gov or 410-764-3379.

About MHCC

The MHCC is an independent State regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability, and improve access to care in a rapidly changing health care environment. The MHCC is committed to advancing health information technology statewide to improve patients’ health status, reduce health disparities, and create efficiencies in health care delivery. More information about the Maryland Health Care Commission is available at http://mhcc.maryland.gov/. Follow the Maryland Health Care Commission on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

15 Maryland Hospitals Improve in National Patient Safety Score Card; Maryland Maintains Low Health Care Costs

Baltimore, MD (November 8, 2018) –Today the Leapfrog Group released the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. Also today, the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement released a report on health care affordability which compares health care costs in Maryland with other states. These reports show that Maryland is making improvements in patient safety, while also maintaining significantly lower costs of health care than other regions in the United States.

In the Leapfrog report, eight hospitals received a letter grade of “A” (Anne Arundel Medical Center, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center, and University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center). Eleven Maryland hospitals received a “B” grade. Of special note, Howard County General Hospital, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, and Suburban Hospital maintained high grades (A’s & B’s) for all three report periods, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Fall 2018.

Commission Chair Robert Moffit observed, “I commend the 19 hospitals that received high grades and I encourage the 25 other hospitals to continue their efforts to improve. Maryland hospitals are making serious progress, and blessed with an abundance of professional talent, they can lead the nation in delivering safe and high quality medical care." Improvement is possible, as 15 hospitals improved their patient safety grades compared to the Spring 2018 release of this report.

The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement’s (NHRI) Getting to Affordability project publishes this report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, by using commercial market insurance claims to analyze health care costs in six areas in the United States: Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Minnesota, St. Louis, MO, and Maryland. In comparison to these other regions, Maryland’s health care costs are, on average, 20 percent lower than costs in five other regions in the United States. These results align with other recently published reports on health care costs, including the Health Care Cost Institute’s Health Marketplace Index, which highlighted Baltimore as the metro area with the lowest heath care prices. The NRHI report goes further to explore why costs differ and reveals how varied care delivery patterns and local prices contribute to the cost differences between regions. With three national total cost of care benchmark reports complete, trends are emerging, and statistics show that each state has a different story to tell. This consistent data is driving multi-stakeholder collaboration to address costs on both a local and national level.

Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) supplies some of the data included in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades reports. MHCC collaborates with NHRI on the Affordability report, providing data from Maryland’s Medical Care Data Base as well as expertise and advice on data analysis and methodology.. These national reporting efforts compliment Maryland quality, safety, and cost data that the MHCC makes available to consumers at https://healthcarequality.mhcc.maryland.gov/ and at WeartheCost.org.

Executive Director Ben Steffen added, “MHCC’s collaboration has enabled Leapfrog and NHRI to increase transparency in the Maryland health care system. The Leapfrog results show steady improvement in patient safety and the NRHI report shows that Maryland’s risk-adjusted total cost of care for the privately insured was below the other regions for the third year in row.”

Leapfrog Hospital Patient Safety Grades Background

The Leapfrog Group generates national Hospital Patient Safety Grades biannually. Hospital safety grades are calculated based on medical errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. Leapfrog produced grades for 40 acute care hospitals in Maryland. To view patient safety grades for all Maryland hospitals, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades allow Maryland consumers and businesses to compare Maryland hospitals against hospitals in the region and the nation.

Prior to Fall 2017, Maryland hospitals were not included in Leapfrog’s report due to the federal waiver exempting Maryland hospitals from participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. Beginning in 2017, the MHCC generated the missing measures from the Maryland Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data Set, which is maintained by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC). Leapfrog used these results in combination with patient experience measures, and hospital associated infection measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to produce composite hospital patient safety scores ranging from A to F.

NHRI Affordability Report Background

“Data is the Spark, Collaboration is the Fuel” is NRHI’s third report comparing the total cost of care for those with private insurance in various U.S. regions. The report uses the average cost of healthcare for comparable populations as its benchmark and compares each state to that average. Like other recent studies highlighted in national media, “Data is the Spark, Collaboration is the Fuel” finds that healthcare costs vary widely between states. The NRHI report dives deeper to explore why costs differ and reveals how varied care delivery patterns and local prices contribute to the cost differences between Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, St. Louis, and Utah. With the publication of this report, NRHI now has three sets of regional cost comparisons. Learn more about NRHI’s Getting to Affordability project.

The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) is a national membership organization of regional health improvement collaborative (RHICs) and partners representing more than 30 states and territories across the US. Our members work in and across their regions to collaborate and transform healthcare with the goal of achieving better health, and high-quality affordable care.

This report was developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at http://www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.NRHI will be hosting a Tech Talk on this report later today, November 8, 2018 at 3pm ET. To register, click the following link: https://nrhi.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TY1AePvJQAKmRkM30caZbg

Maryland Health Care Commission releases annual report on spending and use of health care services in Maryland’s privately fully-insured market for 2016

Baltimore, Maryland (May 30, 2018). The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is committed to analyzing and reporting health care costs and quality in Maryland. The MHCC published a report on spending and utilization of health care services in Maryland’s privately fully-insured market for 2016. This report contains information on the individual health insurance market, both through the Maryland Health Connection (Exchange) and through policies sold in the individual market outside of the Maryland Health Connection (Off-Exchange). It also contains information on small group and large group health insurance plans that are fully insured.

This report, part of a series of annual reports using data from the Maryland Medical Care Data Base (MCDB), shows that health care costs continued to increase in Maryland in 2016, although rate of the increase was less than the rate of increase in 2014 and 2015. Overall, per capita spending on health care increased by 5 percent. Spending per capita declined for hospital inpatient services, labs, and imaging, but increased for hospital outpatient services, physician services, and retail prescriptions. Unit cost decreased for outpatient services but the per person spending did not decrease for outpatient services due to increases in utilization of these services. Per capita spending in the individual market, including Exchange and off-Exchange products, climbed by 12 percent. Spending in the DC metro area was higher than in other regions in the state. Additional information on disease burden, individual out-of-pocket costs, and other topics are available in the report.

About MHCC
The MHCC is a 15 member, independent State regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability, and improve access to care in a rapidly changing health care environment. The Commission’s goals for Maryland include improving patients’ health status, reducing health disparities, and creating efficiencies in health care delivery.

Maryland Health Care Commission Awards Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Telehealth Grant

Mosaic Services, Inc. will receive grant funding to demonstrate the impact of using telehealth technology to expand access to medication-assisted treatment prescribers for underserved Maryland residents in Montgomery County.

Baltimore, Maryland (May 18, 2018) The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is committed to advancing statewide efforts to address the opioid crisis. The MHCC announced the award of a grant to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) through telehealth.  The award was in response to a competitive grant announcement released in January 2018. The grant will operate May 2018 through November 2019. Funding for the project is approximately $346,000.

The grantee, Mosaic Community Services, Inc., in collaboration with the Montgomery County Core Service Agency, plans to use telehealth technology to connect a Baltimore area prescriber to a new treatment facility located in Montgomery County, where there is currently a shortage of prescribers.  The project aims to increase access to MAT, an evidence-based form of addiction treatment, by providing telehealth services, establishing telehealth protocols for addiction treatment providers, and encouraging primary care providers to become certified to provide MAT through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Increasing access to MAT is intended to improve retention of clients receiving treatment and reduce the occurrence of relapses.

About MHCC
The MHCC is a 15 member, independent State regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability, and improve access to care in a rapidly changing health care environment.  The Commission’s goals for Maryland include improving patients’ health status, reducing health disparities, and creating efficiencies in health care delivery.

Contact
Angela Evatt ;angela.evatt@maryland.gov; 410-764-3574

10 Maryland Hospitals Improve in National Patient Safety Score Card; 3 Hospitals Receive “A” Grades

Baltimore, MD (April 24, 2018) The Leapfrog Group released today the spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades

Maryland hospitals have shown notable improvements since first receiving safety grades in the fall 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades report. 

Ten hospitals improved their patient safety grades compared to the fall 2017 release. Three hospitals received a letter grade of “A” (Howard County General Hospital, Northwest Hospital, and The Johns Hopkins Hospital). Ten Maryland hospitals received a “B” grade. This is just the second time that Maryland hospitals have been included in this report.

Some of the data included in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades is supplied by the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC). The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades compliment quality and safety data that the MHCC makes available to consumers at https://healthcarequality.mhcc.maryland.gov/.Commission Chair Robert Moffit observed “The Commission, in serving our citizens, has made transparency in hospital price and performance a top priority for the state of Maryland. This kind of public information can establish new and higher benchmarks for further progress.” Ben Steffen, the Executive Director of MHCC stated: “New initiatives in Maryland are seeming to gain momentum on patient safety.”

Background

The Leapfrog Group generates national Hospital Patient Safety Grades biannually. Hospital safety grades are calculated based on medical errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. Leapfrog produced grades for 41 acute care hospitals in Maryland. To view patient safety grades for all Maryland hospitals, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades allow Maryland consumers and business to compare Maryland hospitals against hospitals in the region and the nation. 

Prior to fall 2017, Maryland hospitals were not included in Leapfrog’s report due to the federal waiver exempting Maryland hospitals from participating in the CMS Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. Beginning in 2017, the Maryland Health Care Commission generated the missing measures from the Maryland Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data Set, which is maintained by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC). Leapfrog used these results in combination with patient experience measures, and hospital associated infection measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to produce composite hospital patient safety scores ranging from A to F.

Contacts

For questions, please contact Megan Renfrew, MHCC’s Chief of Government Affairs and Special Projects, at megan.renfrew@maryland.gov or 410-764-3483.

For questions about Leapfrog, please contact Missy Danforth, Vice President, Health Care Ratings, Leapfrog Group, at mdanforth@leapfroggroup.org.

More information about the Maryland Health Care Commission is available at http://mhcc.maryland.gov/. Follow the Maryland Health Care Commission on Twitter and Facebook.


Last Updated: 1/11/2019