1.This summer, the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) required all acute care hospitals in Maryland to submit a Strategic Hospital Transformation Plan (STP). The STP must be submitted to the Commission by December 7, 2015, for hospitals that received Regional Partnership Planning grants, and by December 21, 2015, for other hospitals. The STPs must describe the hospital's strategy to support Maryland's goals of improved care delivery and population health. Each hospital's STP should include short-term and long-term strategies, and the hospital's plans to work with the Medicare population, skilled nursing homes, behavioral health providers and physicians.
2. Late this summer, the Maryland Health Care Commission published an evaluation of the Maryland Multi-Payer Patient Centered Medical Home Program (MMPP). The MMPP is a pilot program designed to extend to more patients the widely-acclaimed CareFirst medical home model, under which model primary care practices are rewarded for assuming health promotion and care management responsibilities for their patients. The evaluation found that, generally, the MMPP pilot improved care coordination, lowered certain outpatient and inpatient payments by payers, reduced emergency department visits for patients with chronic diseases, and increased the involvement of non-licensed staff in routine patient care. The evaluation noted, however, that African-American and Medicaid patients saw fewer care improvements and had lower satisfaction levels than White patients and commercially insured patients, respectively.