MHCC Receives $2.9 Million Grant to Improve Insurance Rate Reviews

BALTIMORE (September 26, 2013)- The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) has been awarded a nearly $2.9 million grant to enhance Maryland’s All Payer Claims Database (APCD), which contains health insurance claim information from private insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid. MHCC will develop new systems to more quickly collect claim information and, working with the Maryland Insurance Administration, will develop tools that allow the Insurance Administration to better assess whether proposed premium increases are justified.

“In Maryland, we are committed to constantly enhancing the way we use data to make government more efficient, effective and transparent and to improve the lives of our residents,” Governor Martin O’Malley said. “These resources will allow us to better use the data we already have as we continue to give all Marylanders access to quality, affordable healthcare.”

Integrating the claims data into the rate review process will allow the Maryland Insurance Administration to review requested rate increases in the context of a carrier’s actual claims experience, as well as State and local trends. MHCC will also create a web-based tool to allow easy access to health prices and insurance rates. The state plans to make some of the summarized information accessible to consumers.

“This grant will allow us to use data more effectively for oversight of insurance rates, which will mean lower prices for Marylanders,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The grant is from the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), the organization in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) charged with overseeing the implementation of the provisions ACA related to private health insurance.

“Maryland has been ahead of the national curve on implementing the very reforms that will lower prices for patients while increasing the quality and efficiency of health care. This federal investment recognizes the inherent fairness of Maryland’s All-Payer Claims System and uses the latest technology to help it work better for all of us,” Senator Ben Cardin said.

“Maryland is an innovation state, and I am committed to ensuring we are at the forefront of putting health care reform into action,” Senator Barbara A. Mikulski said. “These funds in the federal checkbook will help strengthen Maryland’s claims system to provide more accurate and timely claims. That’s an important part of implementing health care reform and meeting Maryland’s health care needs.”

The APCD, also called the Medical Care Data Base, was established by the Maryland General Assembly to collect information on health care services provided to Maryland residents by hospitals, health care professionals, and pharmacies. All private insurance carriers with more than $1 million in premiums are required to submit data to the APCD.

The CCIIO Rate Review Grant program makes $250 million available to States over five years to transform the review of health insurance premium increases. The grant program is currently releasing the third cycle of funding. The Maryland Insurance Administration received $1.0 million in 2010 and $3.9 million in 2011 to enhance the rate review process. This latest round of funding will allow rate reviews to incorporate experience and market trends.

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(Snow Hill, MD)- The 22nd Annual “Tortoise & Hare Dare” 5K walk/run will be held at 9 am, on Saturday, April 6, with a rain date of April 13, at Pocomoke River State Park-Shad Landing, Snow Hill, Maryland. Registration begins at 8:30 am. This is a FREE event and is Pet-Friendly and will be led by Smokey the Bear. The first 100 runners/walkers to check-in on the day of the event will receive a free commemorative T-shirt. There is no cost to take part in the Tortoise and the Hare Dare. The Worcester County Health Department, Worcester County Department of Recreation & Parks, and Pocomoke River State Park all co-sponsor the 5k.

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(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department is pleased to announce new funding awarded through the Maryland Department of Health, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, to put into action community-based projects that support physical activity in Worcester County. This new grant funding will help WCHD create projects that line up with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Healthy People 2020 campaign.

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Worcester County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program provides consultation to parents, home owners, renters, landlords, medical offices, and other concerned community members on the lead poisoning, prevention, testing, and regulations. Education and case management is provide to parents with children with elevated blood lead levels. Call 410-632-1100 for more information. 


What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning is one of the most common environmental child health problems in the United States and effects 3 to 4 million children. Lead is especially harmful to children younger than 6, but anyone who eats, drinks, or breathes something which has too much lead can get lead poisoning. Although chipping paint and paint dust are the most common sources of lead, lead can also be found in ceramic cups and dishes, fishing sinkers, craft supplies, leaded crystal, spray paint, and even in soil and water.

Click the image below for more information.

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Flu season is fully underway but it's not too late to reduce your risk. Flu vaccines are still available in Worcester County and simple, everyday precautions such as washing your hands, staying home when you're sick, and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze can help stop the spread of the flu. To learn more call 410-632-1100 or click the image below to visit the CDC page on flu prevention. 

 

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Snow Hill Rotary partners with Worcester Health on prescription lockboxes; Health Department to launch new substance abuse awareness campaigns in Spring 2019


(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department and Snow Hill Rotary Club partnered in 2019 to provide free prescription lockboxes to the community. In 2018, the Rotary conducted a needs assessment to determine priorities for where to donate their resources. After having presentations from various organizations, including the Worcester County Health Department, it was determined that the opioid crisis would be a priority area and partnering with the health department to provide lock boxes was the intervention they selected. The Snow Hill Rotary Club also participated in a Naloxone training provided by the health department.

Funded by the Rotary Club, the new lockboxes encourage residents to keep their prescription medications, such as opioids, safe and secure. In addition to promoting responsible opioid storage, Worcester Health will launch several new awareness campaigns this spring focusing on Addiction in the Workplace, Naloxone training, reducing the stigma around recovery as well as promoting the State of Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law.

“I would like to thank the Snow Hill Rotary Club for partnering with the Worcester County Health Department on the lockbox initiative,” said Rebecca Jones, Health Officer for Worcester County. “This is another avenue in which to fight the ongoing opioid crisis.”

 Pictured (left to right): Mimi Dean, Director of Prevention, Worcester County Health Department, Rebecca Jones, Health Officer, Worcester County Health Department, Marty Pusey, Snow Hill Rotary Club, Chris Welch, President, Snow Hill Rotary Club.

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