The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing In Maryland

Tuesday Mornings at 9:00 am on Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast

Why are premiums rising for health insurance? How does the online marketplace work?  Does Maryland have enough doctors?  Join us Tuesday mornings when we tackle questions raised by the Affordable Care Act in our series, The Checkup: How Health Care Is Changing in Maryland.

The Checkup is made possible by CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Baltimore Association of Health Underwriters, and Healthcare Access Maryland.

Alin S / Flickr / Creative Commons

Welcome back to The Checkup, our weekly series on how health care is changing in Maryland. This is our final segment in the series. For seven months, we’ve dug into the details of the Affordable Care Act. How have specific groups of people have been affected by it? Who has and has not been able to get access to insurance through it? How have different components of the health care system responded to the changes?Today, we’re going to take a step back and ask the question: How does the Affordable Care Act fit into the big picture of Maryland’s health care system? 
Adrian Clark / Flickr / Creative Commons
Adrian Clark / Flickr / Creative Commons

Maryland's online insurance marketplace, the health exchange is being scrapped in favor of a system created in Connecticut. So, how will Maryland make sure that this around, things are done right? And will it be ready in time for the next open-enrollment period, which starts in November? With Sheilah Kast to answer those questions is Carolyn Quattrocki. She’s Acting Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. And, with us by phone from Connecticut is Kevin Counihan, CEO of that state’s exchange, Access Health CT.

David Hilowitz / Flickr / Creative Commons

The deadline to sign up for health insurance this year ended last night at midnight. First, we hear from a few people who were considering buying insurance. Then, Sheilah Kast talks with Brad Herring, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, about what keeps people from buying health insurance and about what insurance options are available, or not available, for people who didn’t sign up.


More than 470,000 Marylanders are of Latino origin, just over 8 percent of the state’s population.  Many of them need health insurance.  At Baltimore Medical System’s Highlandtown clinic, navigators are helping people register for care.  Many have been arriving as the March 31st deadline approaches.

Lowering Health Care Spending, One Patient at a Time

Mar 18, 2014
Credit: Tabitha Kaylee Hawk
Tabitha Kaylee Hawk

The Affordable Care Act’s main goal is to insure the uninsured. But, one other goal: lower the cost of health care. Advances in data collection are giving us a clearer picture of who’s costing hospitals the most and why. Some say this creates new opportunities for savings. Reporter Lawrence Lanahan went to Columbia, Maryland, to see how this is playing out in our backyard.


Under the Affordable Care Act, people are more likely to receive care in community health centers and at home than in hospitals, which means new responsibilities for nurses.  As the state does its full sprint to educate the uninsured, we wanted to focus on how some of the most crucial players are adapting: nurses. 

Credit: rweller / stock.xchng
rweller / stock.xchng

This is The Checkup, our weekly series about how healthcare is changing in Maryland.  One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to change incentives for providers of healthcare, so economic rewards would be more attached to keeping patients well than to the number of tests, treatments, and procedures performed on those patients.

Credit Alex Proimos
Alex Proimos

Today, we continue our series, The Checkup, our weekly series on how health care is changing in Maryland. One big change announced yesterday for the state’s online health insurance marketplace: The board of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange said it’s ending its contract with Noridian, the North Dakota-based company that had been the prime I.T. contractor. Joining Sheilah Kast now to talk about the change is Maryland Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein, who chairs the board of the exchange. 
redwolfoz / Creative Commons

About a third of emergency room visits in Maryland could have been handled in a primary care setting. Will the Affordable Care Act change that... and, if so, when?

Are ACOs Changing the Way Doctors Work Together?

Feb 11, 2014
a.drian / Creative Commons
a.drian / Creative Commons

Today, on the Checkup, we look at Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs. Those are groups of independent providers in a particular community who join together to coordinate care—and to save money.  ACOs can include hospitals, physicians, and specialists.