"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Maryland Health Resources Commission

Last year, I was appointed by the Governor to the Maryland Health Resources Commission.  Yesterday was only my second in-person meeting, but I really enjoy being a part of this Commission.  This Commission is only one of three health care commissions in Maryland and it was created almost ten years ago to expand access to affordable quality health care services to the state's underserved communities.  I am the only health system CEO on the Commission so I am able to bring a different perspective to the group.  

During yesterday's Commission meeting, a white paper was presented on Sustaining Community Hospital Partnerships to Improve Population Health; and of course I had a lot to say.  The white paper was very well done by Fran Phillips, RN and included a number of recommendations on how to promote sustainability of Maryland's safety net providers to deliver health care services to our most vulnerable citizens.  

Some of the recommendations for the Commission were as follows: collaborate better with Maryland hospitals as they develop value-based strategies to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital; partner with hospitals on the savings that they will generate through reduced admissions, re-admissions, ED visits and reduced ancillary utilization; better coordinate with hospitals grants that are being requested by individual health care partners; promote promising hospital community partnerships around the state; encourage multi-investor partnerships to jointly fund projects of mutual interest; better link grant applicants with funding opportunities in addition to Commission grants as they become available; partner with Medicaid to jointly evaluate outcomes of partnership grants to reduce spending and improve Medicaid enrollee's health and work with hospitals to leverage Community Benefit dollars in areas with the greatest need.

I am pleased with the contents of this white paper as it attempts to better coordinate the spending of scare resources as the Commission attempts to meet its charter and hospitals attempt to meet their respective missions in the communities that they serve.

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