Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Can You Believe That Anyone Would OPPOSE Expanding Opioid Addiction Treatment?


WHO IS OPPOSING TREATMENT EXPANSION FOR MARYLAND’S BIGGEST HEALTHCARE CRISIS?

On Tuesday, February 21st, the House Health & Government Operations Committee will hear from constituents about why they should require hospitals to establish a substance use treatment program to identify patients in need of treatment and admit the patient to the appropriate treatment setting or, if admission is not required, direct the patient to the appropriate outpatient treatment setting.  Hospitals would be required to provide TREATMENT ON DEMAND 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

The Maryland Hospital Association is opposing this legislation because it would cost the hospitals “too much money” to save the lives of our children. 

I had to ask myself, “Who ARE these callous people?”  Who would deny life-saving healthcare services to our children because of money –when it is not too expensive to treat many more costly conditions, such as cardiac arrest, diabetic shock, or suicide?

I thought, “Perhaps these hospitals REALLY DON’T have enough money to save the life of our children by providing TREATMENT ON DEMAND for chronic intravenous opioid users.” 

According to the Health Services Cost Review Commission, here is a short list of the top paid hospital employees in 2014 –at hospitals that deny our children life-saving healthcare services: 

·         Robert Chrencik, University of Maryland Medical System: $6.90 million

·         Kenneth Samet, MedStar Health: $4.39 million

·         Ronald Peterson, Johns Hopkins Health System: $2.61 million

·         Michael Curran, MedStar – Southern Maryland Hospital: $2.59 million

·         M. Joy Drass, MedStar – Southern Maryland Hospital: $1.91 million

There are 149 hospital employees, who earn more than half a million dollars each year, at hospitals that have made the decision that it is “too costly” to provide life-saving healthcare services –such as opiate detox and referral to next level of care.  Of these 149 hospital employees:

·         113 individuals made between $500,000 and $1 million

·         24 individuals made between $1 million and $1.5 million

·         8 individuals made between $1.5 million and $2 million

·         4 individuals made more than $2 million

The combined salary of these 149 hospital employees is $136,412,654.

If we needed only $1 million to fund the statewide hospital substance abuse treatment bill –that would total less than 1% of this combined salary. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP NEXT TUESDAY TO ASK LEGISLATORS TO PASS HB 515!  PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I CAN COUNT ON YOU TO:

·       Show Your Support in Annapolis on 2/27.  Meet with other advocates in the morning to talk to legislators about the bill.  Ask the House Health & Government Operations Committee to vote favorably on HB 515 at 1:00.  R.S.V.P. to heroinactioncoalition@gmail.com or call 301-525-6183 if you are able to meet us in Annapolis.

·        Call ALL members of the House Health & Government Operations Committee and ask them to vote favorably on HB 515.

·    Email ALL members of the House Health & Government Operations Committee and ask them to vote favorably on HB 515.

Here is the link to the House Government Operations Committee: 
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=cmtepage&stab=04&id=hgo&tab=subject7&ys=2017RS


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