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HEZ Home : Updates

Health Enterprise Zone Income Tax Credits are now available

The Health Enterprise Zones (HEZ) Initiative provides a range of incentives to help attract new practitioners to underserved areas.  These incentives include income tax credits, hiring tax credits, and loan repayment assistance.  Eligible applicants are able to apply for income tax credits as of April 28, 2014.  For more information about how to apply for income tax credits, please click here  Hiring tax credits will be made available later this fall.  Loan repayment assistance is also available, with applicants accepted in the spring and fall (the current spring cycle is March 1 through April 15, 2014).  For more information about loan repayment assistance, please click here

 Health Enterprise Zones Annual Report Released

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Community Health Resources Commission (the Commission) have released the 2013 report for the first year of the Maryland Health Enterprise Zones (HEZ) Initiative.  Click hereto view the Year 1 HEZ annual report.

Highlights of the first year of HEZ implementation include:

  •  Across all five zones, a total of eight care delivery sites have been opened or expanded. All five Zones are now providing clinical and other support services.
  • The Zones articulated a collective year-one goal of recruiting 38 new health care practitioners and report the addition of 43 new practitioners, which include physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses to deliver primary care services and licensed clinical social workers and a psychiatrist to deliver behavioral health services. 
  • Four of the five HEZs have achieved their year-one practitioner recruitment goals.  The Zones reported the creation of a collective total of 87 jobs during their first six months of operations. This total includes HEZ practitioners, community health workers, and other staff that will deliver care and support the goals of each HEZ.
  • The state is working with the Zones to collect and report patient clinical outcome data.  All five Zones include a focus on diabetes; other clinical goals include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, and asthma.

LT. GOV. BROWN ANNOUNCES MARYLAND’S FIRST FIVE HEALTH ENTERPRISE ZONES
 
On January 24, 2013, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown announced the designation of the State’s first Health Enterprise Zones (HEZ) in five locations: Capitol Heights in Prince George’s County, Greater Lexington Park in St. Mary’s County, Dorchester and Caroline Counties, West Baltimore, and Annapolis. Community coalitions in each area will receive a range of incentives, benefits, and grant funding to address unacceptable and persistent health disparities. For a copy of the full press release, please click here.
 
Copies of the original proposals for the 5 designated Zones may be accessed by clicking on the links below.  Please note that these proposals were submitted during the Request for Proposals process and may have undergone changes to the proposal and/or budget requests.  For additional information about any of the proposals, please contact the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (410.260.6290) or the individual Zones (contact information for each Zone is listed below).
 
Specific HEZ proposals included:
·  MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, Greater Lexington Park: The proposal for the Greater Lexington Park seeks to improve public health outcomes in the Lexington Park, Great Mills, and Park Hall communities of St. Mary’s County, areas experiencing a dearth of primary care physicians. The proposal includes a new community health care center and five new primary care practitioners, one psychiatrist, and two licensed social workers in the Zone.  Innovative strategies include the development of a “health care transportation route” to address barriers to accessing health care in this rural area of the state. To view the proposal, please click here. For additional information about the proposal, please contact Lori Werrell at 301-475-6195 or Joan Gelrud at (301) 475-6217. 
·  Dorchester County Health Department, Competent Care Connections: The proposal for Competent Care Connections seeks to improve public health outcomes in Dorchester and Caroline Counties, two jurisdictions with some of the worst health outcomes in the state, by adding 18 new providers in the Zone, and creating a new mobile mental health crisis team. The proposal is innovative in its focus on targeting individuals who visit hospital emergency departments for behavioral health conditions, and efforts to build a new community health workforce in the Mid-Shore region. To view the proposal, please click here. For additional information about the proposal, please contact Sandy Wilson at 410-901-8126. 
·  Prince George’s Health Department, Capitol Heights: The proposal submitted by Prince George’s County Health Department focuses on Capitol Heights, a neighborhood that leads the county in poor health outcomes, including low birth weight, late/no prenatal care, and teen births, and is comprised of 95 percent racial/ethnic minorities.  This proposal would create five new patient-centered medical homes in the Zone to serve a minimum of 10,000 residents, and would add a total of 25 new providers. To view the proposal, please click here. For additional information about the proposal, please contact Dr. Ernest Carter at 301-883-7886. 
·  Anne Arundel Health System, Annapolis: The Anne Arundel Health System proposal focuses on a specific underserved area in downtown Annapolis with high rates of emergency room utilization, hospital admissions and re-admissions, and a large volume of medical 911 calls.  This proposal establishes a new patient-centered medical home (PCMH) inside of a senior housing complex by adding one full-time physician, two full-time medical assistants, and one full-time case manager. To view the proposal, please click here. For additional information about the proposal, please contact Deborah K. Daugherty at 443-481-4736. 
·  Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, West Baltimore Primary Care Access Collaborative: This proposal focuses on expanding access to primary and preventative care and creating a community health infrastructure to serve residents in West Baltimore, a community facing some of the highest disease burden rates and worst social determinants of health care in the state.  The proposal would support the recruitment of 18 new primary care professionals, deployment of eleven community health workers, and would build access to community health resources in the Zone, including access to healthy food retailers and exercise facilities. To view the proposal, please click here. For additional information about the proposal, please contact Novella Tascoe at 410.362.3183.
 
COMMISSION COMPLETES ITS REVIEW AND SUBMITS RECOMMENDATIONS TO DHMH SECRETARY

The Commission held a conference call open to the public on Thursday, December 20 and the CHRC’s recommendations have been finalized and submitted to the DHMH Secretary.  The ten applicants invited to present to the CHRC Board have been forwarded to the Secretary for his consideration.  Designation decisions will be made by the Secretary over the next few weeks and applicants will be notified of the status of their proposals in early January. 
 
HEALTH ENTERPRISE ZONE PRESENTATIONS TO COMMUNITY HEALTH RESOURCES COMMISSION ON DECEMBER 11 
 
The Health Enterprise Zones Call for Proposals issued jointly by the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Community Health Resources Commission generated 19 applications.  These applications were evaluated on 13 review principles by an independent HEZ Review Committee comprised of experts in the fields of public health, health disparities, and health care delivery.  The following top ten scoring applicants were invited to present to the Commission on Tuesday, December 11:
 
 
  • Allegany Health Department
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center
  • Bon Secours Hospital
  • Charles County Health Department
  • Dorchester County Health Department
  • Lower Shore Clinic, Inc.
  • Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County
  • Prince George’s County Health Department
  • Sisters Together And Reaching
  • St. Mary’s Hospital
 
The Commission has scheduled a conference call on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss and finalize its designation recommendations that will be submitted to the DHMH Secretary.  The conference call is open to the public, but questions are permitted only by the CHRC Commissioners.
Conference Call-in information: 
Dial-in number:  855-560-3693
Conference ID# 82454231
 

 HEZ Call for Proposal – APPLICATION PROCESS NOW CLOSED.

Health Enterprise Zone proposals were due to the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) on Thursday, November 15, 2012. The CHRC received 19 proposals and a list of applicants can be downloaded here. Proposals will be reviewed over the next few weeks by an independent panel comprised of experts in the fields of public health, health disparities, and health care delivery, and evaluated on the thirteen review principles listed in the Call for Proposals.

A select number of the highest-ranked proposals will be invited to present to the Board of the CHRC on Tuesday, December 11 at 2:00 pm in Annapolis (Room 230, Maryland House of Delegates). The CHRC will issue its designation recommendations to the DHMH Secretary, and final designations decisions will be made by the Secretary in late December.

 
Cultural, Linguistic and Health Literacy Competency Standards for Health Enterprise Zone Applications
 
The Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHHD) has developed cultural, linguistic, and health literacy competency standards for the review of Health Enterprise Zone applications. These standards can be used as a guide for HEZ applicants to describe how HEZ operations will meet the cultural, linguistic, and health literacy competency expectations of Principle #6.
 
 

 

Public Events
 
HEZ Public Forum - Charles County 
Wednesday, July 11th
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Waldorf Jaycees
Militia Room
3090 Crain Hwy, Waldorf
 
Thursday, July 19th
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
University of Maryland SMC Campus Center
Room 349
621 West Lombard Street, Baltimore
 
HEZ Public Forum - Montgomery County 
Thursday, July 26th
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Long Branch Community Center
8700 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring
 
HEZ Public Forum - Prince George's County 
Thursday, August 2nd

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Glassmanor Community Center
1011 Marcy Avenue, Oxon Hill
 
Thursday, September 13th
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Wor-Wic Community College
Henson Hall, Room 105
32000 Campus Drive
Salisbury, MD 21804
 
HEZ Public Forum - Western Maryland
Tuesday, September 25th
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Allegany County Health Department - Community Room
12501 Willowbrook Rd, Cumberland, 21502
 
CHRC Public Meeting
Thursday, December 20th
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Dial-in number: 855.560.3693
Conference ID#: 82454231
 
For additional information or questions about upcoming public forums, please contact the Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) at 410-260-7046 or email dhmh.hez@maryland.gov.
 
Joint Chairmen's Report
 
Earlier this summer, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) requested public comment on three documents:
  • Threshold eligibility criteria for HEZ applicants;
  • Additional benefits that could be provided by the state to assist HEZ awardees; and
  • Principles that will be used to review HEZ applications.
The public comment period closed on July 20. More than 150 comments were received, which led to a range of changes in the proposals. The attached Joint Chairmen’s Report submitted in August to the Maryland General Assembly summarizes our responses to the comments received and provides general information about our implementation plan. Attached is a letter thanking everyone who submitted public comments.

Following legislative review, DHMH and the CHRC released the HEZ Call for Proposals on October 5, 2012. The Call for Proposals is based on the threshold eligibility criteria and review principles distributed for public comment earlier and summarized in the report submitted to the legislature. The CHRC will receive and evaluate the HEZ proposals and issue recommendations to the DHMH Secretary, who will make final HEZ designations. It is expected that HEZ designations will be made by the Secretary in December, and it is anticipated that approximately two to four HEZs will be selected, depending on the number of applications and their scale.