image description

Bipartisan Congressional Delegation Talks Future of Maryland Health Care with State Health Secretary

March 13th, 2024 by WCBC Radio

Members of Maryland’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, M.D. and Glenn Ivey met in the U.S. Capitol Tuesday with Maryland Secretary of Health Dr. Laura Herrera Scott. The primary topic of the hourlong discussion was the future of the Maryland Model.

A new, voluntary model by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation called the States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) Model is likely to be the vehicle for the next iteration of the Maryland Model. This new, nationwide framework would test the effects that holding the state accountable for controlling health care cost growth have on improving population health and health equity there. The new Model builds on the work of state-based models, including the Maryland Total Cost of Care (TCOC) Model.

“Maryland has the best building blocks for health care in the country. As we move forward, we will work to ensure that whatever the next evolution of Maryland’s all-payer system may be that we do not jeopardize the key principles. We have one system of reimbursement across the state that allows Marylanders to receive care anywhere no matter your insurance card or if you even have insurance,” said Senator Cardin.  “Team Maryland will continue to coordinate with state officials and the Biden administration to protect the quality of care that Marylanders have come to expect and deserve.”

Since the 1970s, though the model’s name has changed, Maryland has had a hospital all-payer system, a unique and innovative hospital payment model that provides equitable access to care, eliminates the need for charity hospitals, and ensures patients are treated the same regardless of insurance status. State law authorizes the underlying all-payer system that is based on hospital rate setting and has continued to be the foundation of each subsequent evolution of the Maryland health care model.