Baltimore Hospitals Announce Proposal to Create Up to 1,000 New Jobs

For immediate release: September 09, 2015

Contact:

Karen Lancaster

klancaster@umm.edu | 410-328-8919

Baltimore, Sept. 9, 2015—Several Baltimore hospitals today proposed a change to state regulations to create up to 1,000 new positions for statewide residents from ZIP codes facing poverty and high unemployment.

“This measure means more options for our city. The effort aims to increase the number of entry-level workers we can hire, creating career paths for some while advancing the stability of our community. It is a win-win,” says Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Today’s proposal of the Health Employment Program was presented by the Johns Hopkins Health System, MedStar Health, the University of Maryland Medical System and OneBaltimore, a public-private initiative focused on recovery and systematic change for Baltimore City. Organization representatives presented at a meeting of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC), a state regulatory body that sets prices for health care at Maryland hospitals. The HSCRC, Maryland law and federal agreements limit hospital revenue to a greater degree than in other states. The aggregate amount available for these awards is up to 0.25% of statewide revenue. The HSCRC will approve an amount any individual hospital may receive. 

“Because of the strong correlation between poor health and poverty, we must understand and address these social determinants of health if we are to be successful,” says Bradley S. Chambers, president of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital.

Conceived to help address the challenges facing Baltimore City, the proposed Health Employment Program would be available statewide in areas with chronically high poverty and unemployment if approved. The proposal to the HSCRC asks that the program start Jan. 1, 2016.

“Mercy is pleased to join with our hospital partners in support of this innovative jobs initiative,” says Thomas R. Mullen, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center. “This targeted investment will promote better community health while creating new jobs and career advancement opportunities for lower-wage workers in Maryland’s most economically challenged communities.”

“Hospitals are uniquely able to make a positive impact. We not only provide care for our community members, but we also employ them. Together, we in the Maryland hospital industry hope to be able to offer up to 1,000 new jobs with very modest changes in state regulations,” says Robert A. Chrencik, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical System.

Hospitals would not benefit financially from the proposed regulations. Changes to HSCRC regulations would lead to an approximate $2.50 rise per $1,000 of current hospital charges, generating as much as $40 million annually to support new entry-level positions and job training.

“The jobs supported by this proposal will help us meet the goal of making significant improvements in care coordination. In addition, it would be a major step forward in the effort to increase the number of meaningful, living-wage jobs in Baltimore City. We need more community and behavioral health support workers, along with people to help enroll others in Medicaid and other health plans. Today’s proposal could help us make significant progress on all these fronts,” says Michael Cryor, chair of OneBaltimore.

A decision from the HSCRC is expected at its next meeting in October.

Hospitals backing the program include:

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System
  • MedStar Health
  • Mercy Health Services
  • University of Maryland Medical System