July 02, 2024

Team Maryland Announces $4 Million Federal Investment in Modernizing the State’s All-Payer Health Care System

Maryland’s bipartisan congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, Jamie Raskin, David Trone and Glenn Ivey announced, with Governor Wes Moore, a federal award of $3,998,635 to strengthen the state’s all-payer health care system. Awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the funds allow Maryland to participate in a new, voluntary model for innovation called the States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) Model.

This new framework will test the effects that holding the state accountable for controlling health care cost growth have on improving population health and health equity in up to eight states. The new model builds on the work of existing state-based models, including the Maryland Total Cost of Care (TCOC) Model. The congressional delegation met at the U.S. Capitol in March with Secretary Herrera Scott to preview Maryland’s application to participate in the AHEAD Model.

“Providing all Marylanders access to quality, affordable health care has long been one of our top priorities, and our state’s innovative all-payer system is moving us forward to meet these goals. This federal investment will help the state deliver equitable, efficient, and high-quality care for all Marylanders now and in the future,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Maryland has been on the cutting edge of health care for decades, with a single system of reimbursement statewide that allows individuals to receive care anywhere no matter your insurance status,” said Senator Cardin. “As the nation’s health care system evolves, we want to ensure the Maryland all-payer system moves forward in a way that strengthens our system for years to come, protecting the quality of care that Marylanders have come to expect and deserve.”

“This momentous investment will help Team Maryland continue its decades-long effort to lower health care costs and improve health care quality and outcomes for all Marylanders,” said Congressman Hoyer. “There is still much work to do to reduce health care disparities and ensure all Marylanders can access the care they need. The AHEAD Model is an important step forward, and I applaud the federal, state, and local leaders committed to strengthening our system and addressing these crucial issues.”

“Maryland is ready to lead on health care. Today, we deepen our commitment to affordability and accessibility — and we hope other states will follow our example,” said Governor Moore. “Our state is deeply grateful for the extraordinary collaboration of both our congressional delegation and our community champions, who have rallied the cause for decades. In partnership, we will continue to make Maryland more affordable for all.”

“Maryland’s hospitals are the envy of not only the country, but the world, thanks in part to the all-payer model that ensures every Marylander receives quality and equitable care regardless of their ability to pay,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “I am proud to join my Team Maryland colleagues in delivering this federal funding to help advance this model even more, reducing Maryland’s overall healthcare spending and improving overall care.”

“For more than 50 years, Maryland has been a leader in health care innovation and delivery as a result of our all-payer model. This system has helped create efficiencies that lower costs, improve care coordination, promote health equity and advance overall health outcomes, regardless of insurance status. Participation in the AHEAD Model will ensure Maryland can maintain and meaningfully build upon this success for decades to come,” said Congressman Sarbanes.

“One of the primary goals of the AHEAD Model is to advance health equity by reducing disparities in health outcomes. Health is a civil rights issue and I expect that this momentous federal award will continue to progress our state’s health care system in a way that makes quality health care accessible to all Marylanders,” said Congressman Mfume. 

“As Maryland receives Federal funding to advance implementation of the Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) Model, I look forward to working with the delegation on improving patients’ access to care, improving emergency department wait times, and demonstrating savings for the state through evidence-based approaches to clinical staffing,” said Congressman Harris. “It is important that we continue to hold bipartisan discussions on improving Maryland’s healthcare system, and it is my hope this funding will be used to meet the many healthcare needs of patients in my district and across Maryland.” 

“Health care access should not depend on where you live or your wealth or poverty,” said Congressman Raskin. “Continued federal investment in Maryland’s innovative all-payer system will allow our state to continue vital progress in improving public access to care and care quality for all.”

“Health care is a right – plain and simple. As our nation continues to grapple with worsening mental health and addiction crises, it’s on our nation’s leaders to eliminate disparities in health care in every corner of our communities,” said Congressman Trone. “This federal funding is another step toward fulfilling that charge and ensuring every Marylander can access high-quality, affordable care, no matter their zip code or tax bracket.”

“The healthcare Marylanders receive is top notch thanks in large part to better patient outcomes with the TCOC & AHEAD models.  But we can still do more and better to address disparities among communities facing challenges in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. That includes limiting costs through innovation. This important federal award will assist in those efforts to be sure.  I applaud the leadership of our Maryland federal delegation in securing these much-needed funds,” Congressman Ivey, said.

“As the end of Maryland’s Total Cost of Care Model approaches, participation in the federal AHEAD Model will enable Maryland to continue and deepen our long-term commitment to improving statewide health equity, healthcare quality, and health outcomes – all while controlling cost growth,” said Dr. Laura Herrera Scott, Maryland Secretary of Health.

Since the 1970s, though the model’s name has changed, Maryland has had a hospital all-payer system, a unique and innovative hospital payment model that provides equitable access to care, eliminates the need for charity hospitals, and ensures patients are treated the same regardless of insurance status. State law authorizes the underlying all-payer system that is based on hospital rate setting and has continued to be the foundation of each subsequent evolution of the Maryland health care model.

The Maryland TCOC Model has been shown to improve health outcomes, as illustrated by a report evaluating its first three years.