Marylanders know prevention pays off. That’s why our state is among a select group planning smart new ways to reduce health care costs for our sickest residents–getting them the care they need to keep them out of expensive emergency rooms.  Our progressive state leaders know you have their backs when it comes to stepping out on issues like these.

Last spring Maryland won a $2.4 million State Innovation Model (SIM) Planning grant to help us innovate in how we care for our most vulnerable residents.  Since then, we’ve been hard at work designing the most effective way to reach and care for this population.  If we’re successful, our state stands to win a new round of funds to make that plan a reality. 

Why are we doing this work?  Research shows us that “heavy users” of emergency room care often face a host of complicating problems—from unstable housing to domestic violence to managing chronic illnesses like diabetes.  Maryland’s consumer advocates and health leaders know tough problems like these need a comprehensive solution.  That’s why Maryland’s plan would connect these citizens to community health workers who can get them the support they need.  If we get the funds to put this plan into action, we can cut down on their use of hospitalizations—while we save taxpayer money and lower premiums for consumers at the same time.

Here at the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, we’re digging in to design the best system we can to reach and serve these citizens in need. We’re meeting with state planners and leaders, and we’re making the consumer voice heard in the process.  We know you value preventing problems before they get out of hand, and targeting solutions where they’re needed most.  If you have experience in community health work or if your organization is active in serving this population, check out the state’s website to learn more about our proposed plan. And once you’ve read the plan, if you want to weigh in on with your comment, we encourage you to contact the planning team directly at  

 In the meantime, we’ll keep at it on behalf of concerned Marylanders who know it’s pure common sense:  healthcare pennies saved are pennies earned for us all.

Last modified: October 16, 2013