MARYLAND AT A GLANCE

HEALTH CARE


[photo, Baltimore City Fire Department personnel assisting injured football player, Patterson Park, Baltimore, Maryland]
  • Health Hotlines & Websites
  • Hospitals
  • Baltimore City Fire Department personnel assisting injured football player, Patterson Park, Baltimore, Maryland, September 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 North Wolfe St. (view from Broadway), Baltimore, Maryland]

    Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 North Wolfe St. (view from Broadway), Baltimore, Maryland, April 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo,  Maryland State Medical Society, 1211 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Maryland]
  • Dental Examiners, State Board of (DHMH)
  • Developmental Disabilities Administration (DHMH): (410) 767-5600; 1-844-253-8694 (toll free)
  • Ebola Virus (DHMH)
  • Influenza (Flu) (DHMH)
  • Health & Support Services (Maryland Access Point) (DA): 1-844-627-5465 (toll free)
  • Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), 1211 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Maryland, December 2005. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    [photo, Pavilion, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 4940 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, Maryland]

    Pavilion, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 4940 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, Maryland, October 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Center for Autism, Kennedy Krieger Institute, 3901 Greenspring Ave., Baltimore, Maryland]
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman (DA) (410) 767-1100
  • Long-Term Care Services & Supports Administration (DHMH) (410) 767-1443
  • Long-Term Care Services & Supports Division (DA) (410) 767-1266
  • Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) 1-800-492-5231 (toll free)
  • Medicare
  • Nursing, State Board of (DHMH)
  • Center for Autism, Kennedy Krieger Institute, 3901 Greenspring Ave., Baltimore, Maryland, May 2010. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Wilmer Dome, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 North Wolfe St., Baltimore, Maryland]

    The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene works to protect the physical, mental and social health of Marylanders by promoting health, and preventing disease and disability. Further, the Department works to ensure that every Marylander has access to quality health care; regulates the State's health care delivery system; and protects residents from communicable diseases, tainted food, dangerous products, and environmental health threats.

    Wilmer Dome, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 North Wolfe St., Baltimore, Maryland, September 2006. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    Local health departments in Maryland counties and Baltimore City are overseen by Public Health Services within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Each local department administers and enforces State, county and municipal health laws, regulations, and programs. Tailored to community needs, public health programs provide preventive care, immunizations, health education, drug and alcohol abuse counseling, and rabies and communicable disease prevention.

    Concerns about health matters are also addressed by the General Assembly through the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, and the House Health and Government Operations Committee.

    To allow instantaneous sharing of patient records between hospitals and the patientís primary care physician, the federal government awarded grants to all states and territories in an effort to create a medical information-sharing digital network. In February 2012, Maryland became the first state to connect all acute-care hospitals within its borders under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009.

    MARYLAND HEALTH BENEFIT EXCHANGE

    To provide Marylanders with high quality, affordable private health plans at competitive prices, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange administers the State-based health insurance marketplace, the Maryland Health Connection, which opened enrollment for individuals on October 1, 2013. Maryland Health Connection helps individuals purchase qualified health plans in the individual insurance market. The Exchange also will help companies sell qualified health plans in the individual insurance market.

    Open enrollment period for individual coverage in 2016 began on November 1, 2015, and ends February 5, 2016. To begin coverage on January 1, 2016, enrollment must have been completed by December 18, 2015. Enrollments completed by January 15, 2016 will begin coverage on February 1, 2016, and the remaining enrollees will begin coverage on March 1, 2016. Those who had a qualified health plan through the Exchange in 2015, automatically will be renewed in the same plan, or a similar plan if their plan has changed.

    Since April 1, 2014, small business owners have been able to use Maryland Health Connection to enroll their employees in qualified health plans through the Small Business Options Program (SHOP). Employers with from one to fifty employees may use this marketplace to purchase insurance plans, and determine their eligibility for small business tax credits.

    The Exchange operates a toll-free hotline (1-855-642-8572), and maintains a website (www.marylandhealthconnection.gov) with comprehensive information on qualified health plans. It also provides an electronic calculator to compute the actual cost of coverage, factoring in all variables, such as tax credits and cost-sharing. To assist consumers seeking to enroll in Medicaid or other health insurance plans, the Exchange maintains a network of certified navigators who help enrollees find and purchase a suitable plan.


    [photo, Robert H. & Clarice Smith Building, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, North Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland]

    HEALTH-CARE INSTITUTIONS

    In Baltimore are several renowned health-care institutions, including
    The Johns Hopkins Hospital, which ranked as the nation's top hospital from 1990 to 2011, and again in 2013 (U.S. News & World Report). Other institutions of renown are The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; the University of Maryland Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy; and the private University of Maryland Medical System. As the primary teaching hospital for the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical System holds the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, a regional facility for trauma management.

    Robert H. & Clarice Smith Building, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, North Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland, September 2010. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    In Bethesda is the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Within the Deparment of Health and Mental Hygiene are health-care institutions for those with developmental disabilities, the chronically ill and elderly, and the mentally ill.


    MEDICAID

    The Medical Assistance Program, known as Medicaid, is a joint federal and state program that provides health and long-term care coverage to low-income people. In Maryland, Medicaid is overseen by the Medical Assistance Program of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and on the federal level by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Eligibility for Medicaid is determined by local departments of social services. To apply for Medicaid, Maryland residents visit their county or city department of social services. There, they are interviewed and submit an application. Generally, those who are either older than age 65, under age 21, disabled, blind, or caring for a child whose parent is unemployed, sick, or deceased are eligible for benefits.

    Since March 2000, approximately 75% of qualifying Medicaid recipients are required to join one of eight State-regulated Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). Exceptions are made for those who receive long-term care, certain mentally fragile children, or for the mentally handicapped, among others. In 2015, over 1 million people were enrolled in the State's managed care program.

    As of April 2015, over 1.2 million people were enrolled in Medicaid and the Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP) at a cost of some $9 billion. Nearly one in six of Maryland's residents were enrolled in Medicaid, and some 40% of the State's children were covered by either Medicaid or MCHP.

    HEALTHCHOICE

    Created in 1997, HealthChoice is the program that places Medicaid recipients into Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). These organizations provide group insurance that covers medical services at select hospitals and clinics participating in HealthChoice and are responsible for meeting nearly all of the recipients' medical needs, except for mental health services and other specific care. Mental health services are provided by the Specialty Mental Health System, which is administered by the Behavioral Health Administration.

    A variety of major programs are offered through HealthChoice. Local health departments identify and enroll Medicaid recipients with special needs or disabilities (such as diabetes, homelessness, alcoholism, or drug addiction) into appropriate programs. One-on-one assistance is available for those who require it.

    Additional State-sponsored services include infant and reproductive care through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, nutritional assistance offered by the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food Program, and medical care for children through the Maryland Children's Health Program.

    To investigate and mediate disputes, health departments act through the Ombudsmen Program to handle enrollees' complaints. Concerns also may be addressed through the HealthChoice Enrollee Action Line at 1-800-284-4510 (toll free).

    The Rare and Expensive Case Management Program and the Stop Loss Case Management Program focus on patient needs and expenses that are not covered by Managed Care Organizations.

    MARYLAND MEDICAID PHARMACY PROGRAM

    Initiated in 1978 as the Pharmacy Assistance Program, the Maryland Medicaid Pharmacy Program helps to pay for prescriptions, insulin, and certain medical supplies for low-income individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid. The Program is assisted by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee.

    MEDICARE

    Medicare is the federal government's health insurance program for Americans age 65-years old or older and for those with certain disabilties.

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