Lt. Governor Brown Sets 2010 Legislative Priorities
Brown to champion false claims legislation and bill establishing Patient Center Medical Homes
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (January 26, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown will focus his efforts during the 2010 General Assembly session to pass legislation that will improve the quality of care for those with insurance, drive down health care costs and allow Maryland to recover millions of dollars lost to medical fraud.
“During these difficult economic times, Governor O’Malley and I have not lost sight of our goals to expand opportunity to more Marylanders and protect the progress we have made,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Since taking office, we have expanded health care to more Marylanders. This session, I will work closely with Governor O’Malley, members of the General Assembly and leaders from the public and private sector to build on that progress, improve the quality of care and reduce costs for ratepayers and taxpayers.”
Brown identified two health care bills – the Maryland False Health Claims Act of 2010 and a bill creating a Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH) program – within Governor O’Malley’s legislative package that his office will partner with the General Assembly and stakeholders to pass.
The Maryland False Health Claims Act of 2010 (SB 279) is reintroduced legislation from last year to advance the State’s efforts to contain costs and eliminate waste and abuse in State health programs. The bill will enable the State to recover damages and penalties from individuals, groups and providers who defraud the State by filing false claims against State health plans and programs.
PCMH is a model of primary care in which a primary care physician or practice provides continuous, comprehensive and coordinated patient care with an aim to improve health and clinical care processes, increase patient access, enhance patient experience of care, improve staff work satisfaction, and lower the total costs of care. The bill was among the recommendations of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council, which is chaired by Lt. Governor Brown, and will be introduced in the Senate later this week.
Brown has also identified several budget items in Governor O’Malley’s proposed operating budget he will work with members of the General Assembly to protect, including:
- $1.3 million for the Veterans Behavioral Health Program;
- $856,000 for the BRAC Higher Education Fund;
- $750,000 for the Iraq/Afghanistan Scholarship Program;
- $300,000 for BRAC Zone tax incentives;
- $234,000 for Military Alliances; and
- $150,000 for the DOVE Program at Northwester Hospital Center.
Brown will also work to keep proposed capital funding intact for community colleges across the state and the National Children’s Museum at National Harbor in Prince George’s County.
Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown administration’s economic development, higher education, BRAC, veterans and health care efforts. In past years, Brown has worked with the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation creating BRAC Zones and the BRAC Higher Education Fund. Last year, Brown worked aggressively to pass legislation strengthening Maryland’s domestic violence laws by taking guns out of the hands of abusers.
To read the bill summaries, click here.
To read the budget priorities, click here.