Friday, June 1, 2018

Global Budgets: A Way to Save Rural Hospitals?

This week, I participated in a conference at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSOPH) entitled: State Policy Academy on Global Budgeting for Rural Hospitals. I was invited along with three other healthcare leaders: Leslie Simmons from Carrol Hospital, Joe Ross from Meritas, and Barry Ronan from Western Maryland Health System. The conference included an address from the new Executive Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Adam Boehler, and a panel discussion that included Donna Kinzer, the Executive Director of Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC).

The goal of this meeting was to educate healthcare leaders from other states who are looking for ways to support their rural hospitals. My friend and colleague, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, JHBSOPH’s Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, gave a compelling argument in favor of guaranteed global budgeting for rural hospitals. He cited Maryland’s success with this strategy and the fact that there are over 800 rural hospitals in America at risk of closing. Small hospitals cannot withstand variability in demand for their services in a fee-for-service world, and yet our citizens need dependable access to healthcare.

We met with leaders from Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Hawaii, Colorado, and several other states and told them about our ability to increase - funds to services and programs that are truly needed but are not reimbursed adequately in fee-for-service.

I learned a lot about the challenges of rural healthcare and I have great respect for people who are helping this underserved group of Americans. Pennsylvania will implement global budgets for rural hospitals beginning in January 2019. It will be interesting to see how this works and if other states also give it a try.

Stroke Center Award
I want to congratulate our Primary Stroke Center which recently received the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This award recognizes us for our commitment to ensuring that stroke patients receive care based on the latest scientific evidence. We earned this recognition by meeting specific quality requirements for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients, which will increase their chances of maximal recovery and lower mortality.

We also received the Target: Stroke Honor Roll. To qualify for this recognition, we must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment.

These awards are the result of the hard work and expertise of our entire stroke team and demonstrate GBMC’s high level of commitment to caring for stroke patients. Great work, everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to read "A Healthy Dialogue" and for commenting on the blog. Comments are an important part of the public dialogue and help facilitate conversation. All comments are reviewed before posting to ensure posts are not off-topic, do not violate patient confidentiality, and are civil. Differing opinions are welcome as long as the tone is respectful.