We are on a rolling hold on our Vision 2020 plans that we estimate pushes our planning back approximately 4-6 months. The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is working on the State Health Plan regulatory language pertaining to Freestanding Medical Facilities. The regulatory process is complex and time intensive as it has the potential to impact many hospitals in Maryland. We cannot project at this point when we will be submitting our applications. We continue with our planning for Open Door Café meetings in the community and anticipate upcoming meetings to take place in early Spring. Once the regulatory process concludes, we will hold a public informational session that will allow for further education and community engagement.
Below you will find a series of Frequently Asked Questions that have arisen at our various community forums. We have attempted to provide detailed answers to questions raised, both to ensure that accurate information is being disseminated, as well as to assure our community that we are listening and incorporating their feedback.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vision 2020 in Action – Health Care Now and in the Future
Nearly two years ago, we kicked off a few initiatives that focus on care coordination and partnering with other community health providers. The goal is/was to provide the best patient care in settings that are appropriate. We’re already seeing some amazing results and are confident that they can be implemented on a larger scale in the future. Please read on to learn more about our progress toward transforming health care in northeastern Maryland.
Our Comprehensive CARE Center
The Comprehensive CARE Center at UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (UM UCMC) is already changing the way we care for individuals who frequently visit our hospitals and emergency rooms. It helps connect them with their primary care physician (or helps them find one) and, if needed, locates additional medical specialists as well as community resources for transportation, home health services, and insurance assistance. The CARE team makes sure the individual understands his/her medications, how to take them and who to call with questions so treatment can be managed on an ongoing basis. When we are able to help individuals maintain or achieve better health, it ultimately results in better care for both them and our community.
In addition, UM Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH), in conjunction with Union Hospital in Cecil County (UHCC), was awarded a Transformation Care Grant in July. This grant supports a regional partnership of health care providers in Harford and Cecil counties to reach out to our most vulnerable patients in their homes. Some of our health care partners dedicated to the cause include: Healthy Harford, county Health Departments, Harford County EMS, and more.
A key initiative supported by the grant is the formation of care management teams—dubbed Wellness Action Teams in Cecil and Harford Counties (WATCH teams)—which are comprised of nurses, social workers, and community health workers assisting individuals in their homes to address medical and social challenges.
These four WATCH teams:
• make house calls
• support medical needs
• evaluate if the individual has additional challenges with transportation or needs further support in areas such as energy assistance or food
• determine if the individual could benefit from additional community supportive care services such as SSI, adult protective services, etc.
In addition, these teams work with individuals for approximately 90 days to develop and monitor care plans that help them better understand their clinical conditions and coordinate care for follow-up appointments. The WATCH program began engaging individuals on July 1st and currently has more than 100 individuals under active care. This service will truly be transformational.
Vision 2020 Planning
The regulatory process is a multi-faceted and time-consuming one which has a direct impact on the future planning UM UCH will complete for both of the UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Campuses in Havre de Grace and in Bel Air. It remains our goal to file the needed applications for the two campuses the first quarter of calendar year 2017.
We will continue to provide updates as they become available and, as always, we remain committed to providing the highest level of care to our Harford County and western Cecil County communities.