August 13th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
Top state officials on Wednesday approved spending $16 billion over the next 10 years on health insurance for over 200,000 state employees, retirees and their dependents. One of the largest contracts ever granted, the three-member Board of Public Works approved it at a meeting dominated by discussion of the positives and negatives of health care delivery in Maryland, including serious patient care problems at a state hospital in Hagerstown.
August 10th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
It was easy to feel sorry for state Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene Joshua Sharfstein during the last couple of years. When it was announced he was leaving the department late last month, the only surprise was that his departure wasn’t immediate and that it hadn’t happened sooner. With the failure of the Maryland Health Care Exchange, his department already had too much dysfunction on its plate.
August 10th, 2014 | by Barry Rascovar
When Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein leaves his state post at year's end, his many achievements will be eclipsed by one giant failure: Maryland's terribly botched health insurance exchange rollout.
July 9th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
There are over 1,300 licensed assisted living facilities in Maryland caring for thousands of residents not quite able to care for themselves. But year after year over the past decade the state health department has failed to do annual inspections for a majority of them
June 3rd, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
Here are some reactions to Monday night's debate between the Democratic candidates for governor of Maryland. They include the impressions of regular voters, bloggers, reporters and a college professor. The debate can be watched online
April 10th, 2014 | by Charlie Hayward
In the second installment examining Maryland’s disastrous health care exchange site launch, longtime auditor Charlie Hayward takes a walk through the status of audits and legal maneuvering to assign blame and recoup money. Auditors and lawyers will begin structured, even forensic work, to determine what went wrong and why Maryland’s exchange fared so much worse than those in other states. Hayward looks at the surprising scope and nature of damages of the failure and explains why both the state and its contractor Noridian bear responsibility. He predicts resolution could be complex, costly, and time consuming
April 9th, 2014 | by Charlie Hayward
In a two-part series Thursday and Friday, retired auditor Charles Hayward (full bio below) delves into the problems that led to a disastrous launch of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange in fall 2013. Among the chief failings of state leadership: not addressing serious red flags when there may have been enough time to fix the root causes; not appreciating the monumental tasks assigned to limited resources; and (3) not selecting one IT expert to take leadership on the website’s development.
April 8th, 2014 | by admin
In passing legislation to raise Maryland’s minimum wage, the General Assembly included a provision to increase reimbursement for community-based developmental disabilities providers. This action addresses a legitimate need and no one should begrudge it. However, it does nothing for the direct care workers who serve equally vulnerable citizens, those with psychiatric disabilities
April 5th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
The Maryland General Assembly concludes its 2014 session Monday in good shape – except for one monumental omission: the mystery surrounding Maryland’s fatally flawed health exchange, which has squandered uncounted tens of millions of dollars.
It’s now clear that both Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown are content to stonewall and impede any detailed investigation of what went wrong in setting up the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange until well after the June 24 primary election
April 4th, 2014 | by Len Lazarick
A wave of support among House Democrats for decriminalizing marijuana is apparently forcing the House Judiciary Committee to reverse itself and approve a Senate bill, SB364, removing criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana