Patient advocate responds to Maryland Hospital Association CEO: We need more patient-centric care

The president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association recently penned an op-ed for Maryland Matters stating that hospitals in the state are "doing it right" and should act as a model for other states. However, a patient advocate responded to the op-ed with her own article, arguing patient-centric care isn't being delivered by the state's hospitals.

In her op-ed published in the same newspaper, Anna Palmisano with the Marylanders for Patient Rights Coalition said MHA President and CEO Bob Atlas didn't mention high-profile issues that have marred Maryland hospitals in his article. She pointed to a recent controversy including Baltimore-based University of Maryland Medical System's board members and an incident where a Baltimore hospital allegedly left a patient at a bus stop wearing only a hospital gown in January 2018.

Ms. Palmisano also cited various rankings that peg Maryland toward the bottom of the list compared to other U.S. hospitals. She said CMS ranks Maryland hospitals 46th in the country for patient satisfaction, and the Leapfrog Group ranks the state's hospitals 38th in the nation for patient safety.

"Despite these low rankings in key indices of hospital healthcare, Mr. Atlas stated that Maryland is a model healthcare system that aims to control costs and improve quality on a large scale. If this is indeed the aspiration of the MHA, Maryland hospitals need to become more patient-centric and transparent on costs," Ms. Palmisano wrote.

In his op-ed, Mr. Atlas, whose organization represents 60 nonprofit hospitals and health systems, painted a different picture: "Thanks to the future-minded policies put in place several years ago, Maryland's is a model of a healthcare system that aims to control costs and improve quality on a large scale. Washington won't get it done, but Maryland's hospitals already are well along the way."

Find Mr. Atlas' op-ed here. Ms. Palmisano's can be found here.

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