Prince George’s County, Maryland, May 18, 2015 – The Southern Maryland Regional Coalition for Health System Transformation is pleased to announce that they have been awarded a $200,000 planning grant, by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MDHMH), to improve the health of the Medicare population in Prince George’s and Calvert counties. The planning grant will also simultaneously work towards lowering healthcare costs. The purpose of the grant is to increase collaboration between health systems, community hospitals, insurance companies, physician practices, long-term care and other providers, as well as community-based organizations and public health departments. The grant also encourages applicants to develop strategies that get more patients and consumers involved in healthcare decision making and processes.
“Many area hospital CEOs, as well as healthcare leaders, support this innovative coalition, which is in the unique position to improve population health for at-risk patients throughout Prince George’s and Calvert communities,” shares Camille R. Bash, chief financial officer for Doctors Community Hospital. “We are a diverse group of stakeholders that truly understand the challenges facing patients, who are frequently admitted into hospitals, and we have joined together to reduce recidivism with ways to improve their overall health. Population health, much like health care itself, can be a complex business. Yet, this coalition is proof that when we all work together we are greater than the sum of our parts.”
The Southern Maryland Regional Coalition for Health System Transformation includes: Calvert Memorial Hospital, Dimensions Healthcare System, Doctors Community Hospital (lead applicant), Fort Washington Medical Center, the Area Agency on Aging, MedChi – the Maryland State Medical Society, Southern Maryland Integrated Care, LLC, the Prince George’s County and Calvert County health departments, and many other healthcare providers, religious and non-profit partners.
The coalition’s planning work will initially establish programs for high-risk Medicare beneficiaries that are patient-centered, expandable and sustainable. Patients with frequent hospital utilization and emergency room visits will be interviewed so that the right services can be provided to enhance their care and avoid future complications. Community physicians will be engaged to determine the level of electronic health record and health information exchange utilization, current services for chronic care and transitional care support, as well as their willingness to work within a community-wide infrastructure for patient management.
As the coalition works to develop regional models for enhancing population health, the planning process is expected to last for approximately six months. Once a comprehensive plan has been fully developed, the coalition will go back to HSCRC and MDHMH to seek additional funding for execution and implementation.