Md. coalition backs plan to save struggling hospitals
A coalition that includes Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley reached an agreement intended to save the financially struggling hospitals in Prince George’s County, Md., which are operated by Dimensions Healthcare System for the county hospital authority. The plan includes building a $600 million teaching medical center and expanding primary care. O’Malley and County Executive Rushern Baker, along with the University of Maryland Medical System, the University System of Maryland and Dimensions signed an agreement that outlines an 18month process to develop the strategy and financing for UMMS to build the medical center. The plan also calls for the University of Maryland at Baltimore to establish a health sciences campus, and for an ambulatory-care network to support the new hospital. Throughout the process, Dimensions and UMMS will work to better quality of care and also reduce operating losses. Meanwhile, officials will work on a plan to transfer the assets “to a successor entity” and to discharge Dimensions’ current debt and liabilities, while the state and county will seek funding to sustain operations during the transition process. The first phase of the process will include determining the scale of the medical center, studying the feasibility of the health sciences campus and planning an adequate primary-care network. The parties subsequently would decide how to allocate the costs and finally choose a site and design and pursue a certificate of need.