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CHRC Special Projects

​In addition to its grantmaking activities, the CHRC has executed a number of special projects.  

Current Projects:

Maryland Council on Advancement of School-Based Health Centers​

The Maryland Council on Advancement of School-Based Health Centers was created in legislation approved by the Maryland General Assembly in 2015. The purpose of the Council is to improve the health and educational outcomes of students who receive services from school-based health centers (SBHCs). The Council is responsible for advancing the integration of SBHCs into (1) the health care system at the state and local levels and (2) the educational system at the state and local levels. The Council develops specified policy recommendations to improve the health and educational outcomes of students who receive services from SBHCs.

In 2017, the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation that transferred the Council from the Maryland State Department of Education to the Department of Health. Under the legislation, the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) provides staffing support for the Council and is permitted to seek the assistance of organizations with expertise in school-based health care to support the work of the Council. The Council will report specified findings and recommendations to the Department of Health, the Department of Education and the CHRC by December 31 of each year. Click here​ for the 2016 Annual Report issued by the Council.​

Rural Health Care Delivery Work Group

During the 2016 legislative session, Senate Bill 707 Freestanding Medical Facilities- Certificate of Need, Rates and Definition, was approved and signed into law by the Governor on May 10, 2016. The legislation establishes a workgroup on rural health care delivery to oversee a study of healthcare delivery in the Middle Shore region and to develop a plan for meeting the health care needs of the five counties -- Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot.  The workgroup is staffed by the Maryland Health Care Commission and co-chaired by Joe Ciolota, MD, Health Office and EMS Director, Queen Anne’s County, and Deborah Mizeur, MS, MHA, LDN, Kent County resident.  For more information about the workgroup, click here.

The CHRC was invited to serve as a member of the Workgroup and Mark Luckner, CHRC Executive Director, was asked to serve as Chair of the Vulnerable Populations Advisory Group, one of four Advisory Groups of the Workgroup.  Of the 188 grants awarded by the CHRC, almost half (90) have supported programs in rural areas.  Most projects have emphasized addressing the needs of vulnerable populations and underserved communities.  CHRC grants have expanded access to primary and preventative care services; promoted access to Medication Assisted Treatment; opened school-based health centers; and expanded access to dental services for low-income children and adults.  For more information about CHRC-supported programs in rural areas, click here.  

CHRC/CRISP Collaboration to Provide Technical Assistance

CRISP, Maryland’s state-designated Health Information Exchange, and the CHRC are collaborating on a technical assistance project that is providing a number of services​​ to CHRC grantees.  These services include reporting and data analytics; supporting care coordination initiatives; and connecting grantees with other sectors of the Maryland’s health care community.  The purpose of the technical assistance program is to assist CHRC grantees in documenting program impact, to support program evaluation, and to help promote program sustainability.   Below are specific types of reports that CRISP has committed to providing:

  • Population Health Reports
  • Panel-Based reports
  • Pre/Post reports
  • Encounter Notification Service (ENS)

The technical assistance program was began in the summer of 2016 and is ongoing. CRISP and CHRC staff held a webinar on August 5, 2016 for grantees to inform them about the types of services offered including.  HealthCare Access Maryland, one of the CHRC grantees, participated in this webinar and shared lessons learned in utilizing CRISP data to document program impact.  

Program Evaluation with Hilltop

In May 2016, the CHRC engaged The Hilltop Institute to perform an evaluation of CHRC-funded projects, to help determine whether community-based intervention strategies supported by CHRC funds help generate cost savings via reductions in avoidable hospital utilization.  The four grantees selected for the evaluation (below) involve programs that provide access to substance use treatment services and Medication Assisted Treatment; hospital ED diversion and care coordination programs; supportive recovery housing, and promoting earlier access to prenatal care.  The four projects expand access in rural, suburban, and urban areas of the state.  Hilltop will issue an interim report on November 30, 2017 which will outline the basic demographic and Medicaid eligibility of the programs participants and the final report on June 30, 2018. 

 ·         Potomac Healthcare Foundation is utilizing funds to establish a 50bed residential Recovery Support Center in West Baltimore. The project addresses three of the seven goals of the Governor’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force by: (1) expanding access to treatment by removing one of the barriers for accessing care, housing; (2) enhancing the quality of treatment via an evidencebased approach that utilizes residential recovery housing; and (3) boosting overdose prevention efforts, as “stable housing and quality treatment are the bulwarks against overdose.”

 ·         Garrett County Health Department is utilizing funds to support the use of telehealth technology to increase access to Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) in a rural corner of the state. The program involves a collaboration between the Garrett County Health Department and the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry.

 ·         Lower Shore Clinic is utilizing funds to support the "CareLink" program that targets individuals with behavioral health needs who visit the hospital ED (Peninsula Regional Medical Center [PRMC]) in high volumes and provides intensive case management services for these individuals posthospital discharge.

 ·         Baltimore City Health Department is utilizing funds to support the continued implementation of the B’More for Healthy Babies (BHB) Initiative. The program employs Pregnancy Engagement Specialists who use aggressive, traumainformed strategies to outreach pregnant women who are currently unable to be located though traditional outreach methods or who refuse to talk to care coordinators and direct vulnerable pregnant women and newborns into appropriate obstetric and pediatric homes.​ 


Past Projects:

Hospital-Community Partnership Forums


Transformative initiatives are unde​rway impacting community health and health systems in the State. These developments include advances in our collective health IT infrastructure; the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP); patient-centered medical homes and other enhancements to primary care; and behavioral health integration. To facilitate this collaboration, the Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), with support from the Maryland Hospital Association, hosted four regional forums during the fall ofthis fall (2014). The purpose of the forums was to highlight a number of promising hospital-community partnerships and innovative intervention strategies, to discuss the lessons learned and challenges confronted during implementation, and to develop strategies through which these programs could be sustained and spread.  Click here for more info: Hospital-Community Partnerships.


Local Health Improvement Coalitions​​


DHMH established the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP)​ in 2012, which focuses on improving population health outcomes and measures every jurisdiction on its performance on 39 population health metrics.  These metrics include reducing emergency department visits related to behavioral health; reducing diabetes-related emergency department visits; and reducing the percent of children considered obese. In support of SHIP, the CHRC issued two Calls for Proposals in 2011 and 2012 and awarded 24 grants totaling $1.95 million to assist in the planning and implementation activities of Local Health Improvement Coalitions (LHIC), which are led by local health departments and hospital systems. The bulk of LHIC grant funds were utilized to support the costs of hiring new personnel, including community health workers, program administrators, and community health nurses. Non-personnel costs were utilized by LHICs to support medical equipment in a new patient-centered medical home, purchase of computer equipment, and trainings for new personnel.  Click here​ ​for more information on CHRC LHIC grants.

 

Access to Care Program


In 2011, the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation (SB 514/HB 450) that directed the CHRC to assist community health resources in their efforts to respond to the implementation of the ACA. The CHRC developed a business plan in 2012 that outlined specific recommendations for how the state could promote the readiness of safety net providers and assist in their efforts to build capacity and achieve long-term financial sustainability. As part of these efforts, the state launched the Access to Care Program, an interagency collaboration of the CHRC, DHMH, and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. The purpose of the Access to Care Program was to build the capacity of safety net providers to serve more patients as the newly insured individuals access primary, preventive, and specialty care services in higher volumes. The state hosted six forums in June 2013 and invited safety net providers, Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, and Quality Health Plans. These forums were designed to encourage networking opportunities and promote the participation of essential community providers in Medicaid Managed Care Organizations and commercial health insurance networks.

 

Developmental Disabilities Administration Infrastructure Grants


At the request of DHMH leadership, the CHRC worked with the DHMH Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) to issue the DDA Infrastructure Grant Call for Proposals on April 2, 2012. This Call for Proposals generated a total of 121 awards to DDA licensees, totaling $5,997,975 in one-time only infrastructure grants. The grants were supported with funds provided by the DDA (funds were transferred to the CHRC’s budget) and were awarded to support projects in one of the following six categories: (1) New vehicles and other forms of transportation; (2) Adaptation of, or modification to, existing DDA licensee-owned vehicles; (3) Information technology equipment, software, or related services; (4) Adaptations, modifications, repairs, or improvements to existing provider-owned properties/programs that address critical health and safety issues or improve access or quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities. (Programs include day, vocational, and residential services such as group homes and Assisted Living Units); (5) Start-up funds for or expansion of infrastructure for innovative programs that increase community integration or integrated employment for people with developmental disabilities; and (6) Staff training in areas directly related to working with people with developmental disabilities. Grant funds supported projects that included the purchasing of new vans for programs to provide transportation for clients to and from health care appointments and providing repairs for existing properties which provided DDA services (e.g., window replacements, updating of HVAC units, and new flooring).

 

DHMH Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency

​At the request of DHMH leadership, the CHRC Executive Director co-chaired the DHMH Task Force on Regulatory Efficiency with the DHMH Chief-of-Staff. The Task Force was tasked with conducting a cross-agency review of DHMH regulations and soliciting public comment to promote greater transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness in regulations. An initial public comment period generated 73 proposals from the public. Following a second public comment period, the Task Force issued its final report in June 2012. Of the 73 proposals received, 42 were supported by DHMH and moved forward for implementation or further review. Proposals that were implemented include such changes as allowing patients to return unused medications to help reduce health care costs at nursing homes by enabling the appropriate re-use of returned medications.