1. In January, the Health Resources Planning Commission approved a CON exemption for Anne Arundel Medical Center that will permit the closure of the hospital’s downtown Annapolis campus, and relocation of the downtown services to the hospital’s other existing campus, three miles away. The hospital agreed to reduce its bed complement by 80 medical/surgical beds, and pledged not to ask for a rate increase to fund the relocation and new construction.
2. As required by its enabling statute, the Health Care Access and Cost Commission (HCACC) has established technical work groups to develop practice parameters in various health care disciplines. In January, HCACC approved a set of practice parameters on pediatric asthma. These proposed parameters will be subject to a formal adoption process that will include opportunity for public comment. Staff is also collecting practitioners' responses to proposed practice parameters on the management of labor during pregnancy. Currently, two other technical work groups are developing practice parameters on neck/back pain and chest pain.
3. In February, the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) denied alternate rate applications for Upper Chesapeake Health System and Dimensions Health Network. Each hospital sought approval of a capitated managed care contract with United Health Care to provide professional, inpatient and outpatient services to United's managed Medicaid enrollees. The HSCRC said each hospitals' contract with United "was not financially viable," and the HSCRC is giving the hospitals time either to terminate or to modify the contracts. The HSCRC did, however, approve the hospitals’ alternate rate contracts with several other Medicaid Managed Care Organizations.