Strengthening Health Care in Prince George's County
In July 2011, Governor Martin O'Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and executives from Dimensions Healthcare System (DHS) announced that the State, County and DHS reached a partnership agreement with the University of Maryland Medical System and the University System of Maryland to develop a comprehensive plan to strengthen health care in Prince George's County.
The Memorandum of Understanding sets forth an agreed strategy for developing a comprehensive plan for strengthening health care in Prince George's County.
The MOU parties commissioned and funded the University of Maryland School of Public Health to perform a study of the health care needs of Prince George's County: Transforming Health in Prince George's County: A Public Health Impact Study (2012). The study included 1,000 random calls to County residents, a review of past studies and state data, many interviews and a review of current data.
The MOU partners agreed to establish plans for improving health services, increasing access to primary care, and enhancing the County's overall healthcare infrastructure. The School of Public Health's Study assisted in the development of a strategy to improve overall health status and health delivery design.
The analysis resulted in the development and implementation of a strategy to transform the current health system into an efficient, effective and financially viable healthcare delivery system with a new regional medical center, located in Prince George's County, supported by a comprehensive ambulatory care network, which will help improve the health of the residents of Prince George's County and the Southern Maryland region.
Population Health Management Considerations into Design of New Healthcare Delivery System
The MOU parties are committed in developing a regional healthcare system that will promote public health and consider population health management principles into the design of the proposed healthcare system for the County and Southern Maryland region. The proposed new regional medical center and its clinical programs will be designed based upon the findings of the Public Health Impact Study. Significant elements being considered are the following:
- Declining inpatient utilization rates in the service area as a result of population health management.
- The regional medical center will be forecasted to have an average length of stay less than what the current PGHC facility is experiencing.
- The regional medical center's clinical programs will be designed to include better coordinated community care with primary care physicians as well as within the patients' home environment.
- The regional medical center will have specialized ambulatory clinics to manage high-risk patients having chronic conditions such as diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure.
- The new health system and its MOU partners will work together to promote increased access to primary care resources (both physicians and mid-level practitioners).