Save Healthcare in Harford County
Dear Mr. Steffen:
We are dismayed to learn that the Maryland Health Care Commission has not approved UM UCH’s applications for: Certificate of Need for a Specialty Psychiatric Hospital, Certificate of Exemption for the conversion of UM HMH to a Free-Standing Medical Facility, and the expansion of the UM UCMC campus in Bel Air. We are equally troubled by the MHCC’s lack of support for an entire floor of hospital beds at UM UCMC and replacing it with inpatient behavioral beds; in essence eliminating the Special Psychiatric Hospital at Aberdeen.
This, we believe, puts our patients at risk in the following ways:
- We witness a growing number of patients across Harford County requiring behavioral health services; limiting these services just to the UM UCMC campus in Bel Air will leave patients in the Aberdeen/Havre de Grace areas vulnerable and strategically hamper any future growth at UM UCMC.
- Not supporting the proposed medical surgical and observation bed capacity needed will significantly hamper our ability to provide timely, lifesaving care. We regularly live with a back log of Emergency Department boarder patients. Any elimination of the proposed bed expansion in Bel Air will negatively impact the care delivery in our community.
- Time is of the essence as UM HMH continues to age and we are faced with increasingly severe physician recruitment and staffing challenges at the Havre de Grace facility. We simply are unable to continue to recruit the number of specialty physicians needed for this acute care facility.
We believe it’s our medical and ethical duty to alert you of the potential harm that could result from the Commission’s upcoming decisions. Please carefully review the data provided as a part of the applications. We are passionate about protecting the healthcare needs of our community and compel you to approve the proposal and applications as submitted by UM UCH leadership and as supported by the Board and the Medical Staff of UM UCH.
Medical Staff, UM UCH
cc: Andrew N. Pollak MD, Chairman, Maryland Health Care Commission
Randolph S. Sergent, Vice-Chairman, Maryland Health Care Commission