Maryland hospital at risk of shuttering trauma services

Salisbury, Md.-based TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital could close its trauma center if state funding formula changes are not made, ABC affiliate WMDT reported April 18. 

TidalHealth CEO Steve Leonard, PhD, told the outlet that Maryland's requirements to achieve trauma center status are more restrictive than other states. He said in Maryland, hospitals have to have about 12 specialties on call, compared with four in other states. 

Dr. Leonard also said Maryland Maryland's Health Services Cost Review Commission has a "unique" reimbursement system for hospitals and trauma centers. The system generally works, but that is not currently the case for his health system, he said. 

"Our challenge is the expense related to maintaining that level of service," he told the outlet. "There are certain flaws that impact us here, locally, on the Eastern Shore. And that is the commission's failure to recognize the complexity that we provide here with trauma, our rural nature, our high volume."

Discussions about trauma center funding at Salisbury-based TidalHealth have been ongoing since 2017, according to the report. Dr. Leonard said there is a gap in revenue for trauma and volumes have significantly increased over the past 18 months, adding complications. 

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