structure “nebulous,” and wanted details on how it would operate within counties like Queen Anne’s or Kent.
“We’re all full of data and what we really want to see is some specifics that say how are we going to take care of Mrs. Smith who breaks her hips ... and how are we going to do that in the most cost effective and quality way for the citizens,” Ciotola said.
He said the “overwhelming elephant in the room” was the amount of regulation physicians everywhere face when they care for patients.
Additional topics discussed including bridging proverbial distances between various medical services like primary care and behavioral health, what avenues of government funding are available and how to further promote communication with health care organizations and the community.
“I’m encouraged about what I am hearing about connecting in rural areas and really taking advantage of relationships that exist,” Mizeur said. “We’re guided by what the patient needs, because those people are the whole reason why we’re here.”
She said “seeing all the goodwill at these meetings” gives her confidence about the plan’s development.
There were several public comments from audience members.
Chestertown resident David Foster said Kent County is unique due to a number of factors, such as its small size.
“While I value very much the work this committee does, I’d like to see a little more focus on the ‘R’ word,” he said. “What it is that distinguishes rural counties from others?
Erin Dorrien, MHCC chief of government relations and special projects, said three public hearings on the delivery plan are planned for later this spring. They will be held in Kent, Talbot and Dorchester counties, and led by workgroup members.
The next Rural Health Care Delivery Plan Workgroup meeting is set for March and will be held in Annapolis. The group meets every eight weeks, until the Rural Health Care Delivery Plan is due to the General Assembly in October.