Thursday, December 3, 2015

Senator Cardin visits GBMC

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of welcoming U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D—Md.) to the GBMC campus for a tour of our Family Care Associates (FCA) practice. The Senator was interested in seeing this patient-centered medical home because it is a model of innovation.

We then held a town hall meeting that focused on the need for more healthcare innovation to help the U.S. move towards the national triple aim of better health and better care at lower cost. At the town hall meeting, we also discussed the future of the Maryland Medicare waiver, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other health care issues. Joining Sen. Cardin and myself, for the tour and meeting, were Ms. Bonnie Stein, GBMC HealthCare Board Chair; Bennett Beres, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of GBMA; and Dr. Robin Motter, Chair of our Department of Family Medicine.

It was wonderful that Senator Cardin chose GBMC to visit because he has really been an advocate for our state, in Washington, DC, and because he is very knowledgeable about health care. The Senator recognizes that the Affordable Care Act is not perfect but that it has really helped the country move towards a more value-driven system. He has worked hard over his career to shape legislation to ensure that all Marylanders are able to receive first-class medical and dental care.

During Senator Cardin’s visit of the FCA practice, Dr. Sarah Whiteford and Dr. Ben Hand really did an excellent job in leading the tour and showcasing how their practice was designed to minimize waste. They pointed out how there is no patient waiting room and that almost everything happens in the exam room from check-in to check-out. Dr. Hand showed the Senator how the rooms are replenished with supplies from the outside and “off-stage.” You could see that Senator Cardin was intrigued by the design principles used in the construction of the practice and how it had led to a truly better patient and provider experience.

The town hall session was really an important part of the event, because it provided us with a great opportunity to hear from Senator Cardin and for us to educate him on our great system of care, our outstanding specialists, surgeons, nurses, and other clinicians and what we have accomplished to date in population health and advanced primary care. John Ellis, our Senior Vice President for Strategy served as the moderator of the session. I presented the overview, Bonnie presented the governance perspective and Dr. Motter presented our results so far.

The Senator began his remarks by saying that GBMC is very dear to him as his two granddaughters were born here and that as our representative he is proud of what GBMC has been able to do to improve care.  He also outlined how under the Medicare waiver, our state has saved the federal government billions of dollars. During the question and answer session with Senator Cardin the subject matter ranged from promoting programs for frail elders to the impending nursing shortage and access to care.

I enjoyed the Senator’s visit and I think it was a big win for GBMC. Senator Cardin said: “I am going to brag about GBMC on the floor of the US Senate” and “…we’re (the federal government) trying to take what GBMC has done and implement it on a national level.”

We should all be very proud of what we have accomplished to date!

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