Advanced Health Collaborative, LLC, (AHC) is an alliance of Maryland-based health systems that came together to focus on ways to more efficiently and more effectively improve health and health care for the people of Maryland. The coalition focuses on education and idea-sharing. This includes policy discussions and the potential development of regional and statewide programs to address the opportunities and challenges of the state’s new global budget reimbursement model and Maryland’s unique all-payer system. Each health care system in AHC remains independent while harnessing their collective resources and developing innovative ways to implement best practices for patient-centered care, including well-coordinated community-based care and multidisciplinary support.

The members of the Advanced Health Collaborative are:

      • Adventist HealthCare, Inc., based in Gaithersburg and serving Montgomery and surrounding counties
      • LifeBridge Health, Inc., based in Baltimore and serving Baltimore and surrounding counties
      • Peninsula Regional Health System, Inc., located in Salisbury and serving the Eastern Shore
      • Trivergent Health Alliance, LLC, which includes Frederick Regional Health System Inc., Meritus Health, Inc. and Western Maryland Health System, Inc., based in Frederick, Hagerstown and Cumberland, and serving Western Maryland and surrounding areas

AHC draws on the resources, expertise and experience of its members – as well as national best practices and collective innovation – to deliver innovative and responsive patient care with a commitment to quality and efficiency. Through their alliance, AHC members have a collective and collaborative voice in discussions regarding the new health care landscape in Maryland.

The founding members developed AHC to create a coalition, without merger, to share ideas and implement national best practices, and explore and develop new opportunities, following the redesign of Maryland’s unique all-payer hospital reimbursement system, which had been in place for more than four decades.

As of January 2014, Maryland became only state in the country to reimburse its hospitals though an all-payer system with hospitals on global budgets. This means these organizations receive a predetermined population-based reimbursement rather than compensation for services rendered (the old fee-for-service model). This shift means that hospital systems now focus on health care “value,” not simply volume and treating illness, with the ultimate goal to better the health of people in their communities, as well as to improve patient care and outcomes.

The aim of the global budget system is to incentivize Maryland’s hospitals to help the entire Maryland health care system achieve the “Triple Aim:” lower costs, better care and better health for the people of Maryland. Working collaboratively with state agencies and all health care stakeholders (including the hospital industry, the physician community, the long-term care community, other providers, consumers and others), AHC hopes to play a role in facilitating the development of population health and care coordination activities, placing Maryland at the national forefront in achieving the Triple Aim. These initiatives will be facilitated by the incentives of the unique all-payer system agreement between the State of Maryland and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

Being at the forefront of health care innovations now requires unique implementation of patient-centered, multidisciplinary, community-based care, including better coordination of medical care, prescription drugs, behavioral treatment and a broad range of social services.

Population health and improved care coordination represent a new era for the Maryland hospital and health care communities, with a focus on better health and better care, including prevention, wellness, quality and outcomes, resulting in reduced hospital admissions. As health systems seek to navigate these new waters, AHC will work with its members on potential projects to help achieve these new goals. These projects could include common or shared population health and care coordination approaches (benefitting from collaborative learning and economies of scale); participating in grant and demonstration projects; and advocacy and participation in the development of the new all-payer system.

AHC members believe that by sharing ideas and working together, they will be more successful in transitioning to this new model of care as well as achieve faster and better results, which will ultimately benefit their health systems, physicians and other care providers, as well as all Maryland providers and health care system stakeholders, and, most importantly, people in Maryland.