Anthony Brown’s Record of Real Results – Health Care
“The importance of providing quality and affordable health care to all is something I learned from my father, a doctor who worked in some of the poorest neighborhoods, often without pay. He dedicated his life to serving others and he passed that lesson on to me – that’s why I’ve made improving health care one of my top priorities. We’ve made a lot of progress, but it’s not enough until every Marylander has access to quality, affordable health care.”
Progress: Under Anthony’s leadership as Lieutenant Governor, we made tremendous progress in building healthier communities. We expanded access to care, allowed health providers to spend more time with their patients, expanded the use of health information technology, prevented fraud waste and abuse, and created innovative solutions to reduce health disparities, hospital admissions and re-admissions in order to drive down health care costs. During Anthony’s tenure as Lieutenant Governor, together we:
- Led the nation in implementing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which independent studies show will reduce the number of uninsured in Maryland by 50% and create 26,000 jobs in Maryland by 2020;
- Reduced our infant mortality rate to the lowest levels in State history;
- Expanded health coverage to nearly 400,000 Marylanders – half of whom are children;
- Connected all 47 Maryland Hospitals to the health information exchange so that health providers have the right information about the right patient at the right time;
- Provided $200 million to help build a new regional medical center in Prince George’s County;
- Supported additional funding to health providers and physicians for Medicaid;
- Expanded the number of Maryland children in Medicaid receiving dental services by 17% – an additional 110,000 children; and
- Reduced the rate of preventable hospitalizations and their associated costs.
Because of these and other efforts, in 2012, for the first time in 23 years, the United Health Foundation ranked Maryland among the top twenty states (19) for overall health.
Anthony led the State of Maryland on the following initiatives:
Implementing Obamacare: As the healthcare leader of Maryland’s efforts to improve health care, Anthony helped ensure that all Marylanders can access the benefits provided under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. These include:
- Prohibiting insurance companies from withholding coverage to Marylanders based on pre-existing conditions;
- Protecting consumers from losing their health insurance due to illness;
- Ensuring that free preventative services are available to more Marylanders;
- Allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26; and
- Closing the donut hole so that seniors are not forced to pay large out of pocket costs for medication.
Reducing Health Disparities in Underserved Communities: Under Anthony’s leadership, Maryland created the nation’s first Health Enterprise Zones – a four-year, $16 million program to incentivize new primary care physicians and other health providers to work in our most underserved communities in order to eliminate racial, ethnic and geographic health disparities. Two of the HEZ’s currently operate in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s County. HEZ’s are a targeted and local approach to addressing unacceptable disparities. They are designed to: (1) Reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations and among geographic areas; (2) Improve health care access and health outcomes in underserved communities; and (3) Reduce health care costs and hospital admissions and re-admissions.
Building a World-Class Regional Medical Center in Prince George’s County: As Lieutenant Governor, Anthony worked with stakeholders and decision-makers at the State and local level, and with the University of Maryland Medical System and the University of Maryland Baltimore and College Park, to bring a world-class regional medical center to Prince George’s County. A new regional medical center in Prince George’s County is critical to address the County’s physician shortage, create a comprehensive network of care, and provide county residents a world-class medical center that is close to home. To address these issues and build a new regional medical center, Anthony led the effort to secure $200 million in state capital funding for the Center.
Preventing Fraud Waste and Abuse: In 2010, Anthony spearheaded the successful effort to pass the Medicaid False Claims Act to reduce healthcare fraud and recover fraudulent health care claims. The law will also protect our most vulnerable neighbors and serve as an important deterrent to those looking to cheat taxpayers.
Improving Marylanders Health by Coordinating Care: Under Anthony’s leadership, in 2010 the General Assembly passed the State’s first Patient Centered Medical Home program (PCMH). PCMH’s provide an innovative approach to the delivery of health care where patient care is administered by a team of health care professionals and coordinated by a primary care physician. Enhanced access, expanded hours, telephone and email communications, coupled with an emphasis on prevention and wellness, result in improved quality of care and fewer emergency room visits and expensive hospitalizations.
Using Technology to Improve Health Care Delivery: As Maryland’s health care leader, Anthony championed the adoption and expansion of Health Information Technology – visiting numerous hospitals, primary care practices and Federally Qualified Health Centers to promote health information technology systems. Maryland is the first state in the nation to have all of its hospitals share data through a statewide health information exchange (HIE) – the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP). Today, all 47 of our hospitals can transmit real-time information on patients so that health providers have the right information about the right patient at the right time. Because of Anthony’s advocacy and engagement with the Maryland General Assembly, Maryland was also the first state to provide incentives to health care providers to increase the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). Building on the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record adoption incentive programs created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the State program requires State-regulated payors to provide incentives for the adoption of EHRs.
Caring for Victims of Domestic Violence at our Hospitals: Since 2010, after conducting an analysis of best practices and the issuance of an Executive Order, Anthony has worked with partners in the hospital, domestic violence and health insurance community to double the number of hospital-based domestic violence programs, bringing the total to seven programs statewide. These programs provide an opportunity for healthcare professionals to investigate, treat and serve victims of domestic violence and abuse while offering hospitals a significant savings by reducing hospitalizations, re-admissions and related chronic illnesses. Because of Anthony’s personal involvement, Maryland is building a coordinated response to domestic violence in every part of our state.
Connecting our Veterans to Behavioral Health Services: Maryland, like other states, faces short and long term challenges with respect to its Veteran population – many of whom have recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. As a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, and having served a year in Iraq, Anthony is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of Veterans and their families. In 2008, he led the effort to pass the Veterans Behavioral Health Initiative, establishing the Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans (MCV) Program, a program designed to assist and coordinate access to behavioral health services for Maryland’s Veterans. Since its establishment, MCV has linked hundreds of Maryland Veterans and their family members to behavioral health services either through the State’s public health system or the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs health services.