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Maryland Health Care Commission

Find more information on medical homes through the Maryland Health Care Commission.

In past generations, it wasn’t unusual for a family doctor to make a house call, perform a broad range of medical services and offer emotional as well as clinical support. While the traditional house call may be a thing of the past, patients today are taking advantage of a return to cooperative hands-on care in the form of patient-centered medical homes, including many in Maryland. Data shows that this care model is not only lowering costs but also improving care.

In a growing number of medical homes, doctors, nurses, care managers and medical assistants work together to help patients manage their care among different facilities, coordinate referrals to specialists and help track health outcomes. Rather than wait until he or she needs emergency care, the patient receives consistent preventative care from a familiar team of practitioners and builds a “long-term healing relationship,” according to the Maryland Health Care Commission.

Medical homes are one of the fastest growing trends in the healthcare industry. In the last six years, the number of certified medical homes nationwide has exploded, from 20 in 2008 to 6,800 today. As of January 2014, Maryland has 58 home health centers, most of which are located in areas with a large number of Medicaid patients, according to Heather DeCarlo, a health IT expert at RxNT in Annapolis.

Thanks in part to funding from the Affordable Care Act, medical home practitioners are now assisted by new forms of information technology, including electronic medical records. The ACA has also fundamentally changed how the country pays for healthcare, DeCarlo said.

Medical facilities are moving away from fee-for-service payments, which encourage more and oftentimes unnecessary medical procedures, to models that encourage cost efficiencies and improved medical outcomes, according to DeCarlo. The ACA incentivizes providers who can prove that they are bringing more services under the healthcare umbrella, like patient education and care coordination, and medical homes support this new team-based model, she said.

State officials have already found promising results among Maryland medical homes.

In 2011, through the MHCC, the Maryland Multi-Payer Patient Centered Medical Home Program began a three-year pilot study to test the medical homes care model. The study included 53 primary and multi-specialty practices throughout the State.

By the second year of the study, nearly half of the practices generated savings and overall care quality increased by approximately 10 percent, according to the MHCC.

CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Maryland is one of the State’s success stories. Through the use of medical homes, patients’ overall health care costs have been reduced by 4 percent, leading to an estimated cost savings of $40 million in 2011, according to the MHCC.

The MHCC concluded, “Physicians who practice in medical homes anecdotally report much greater satisfaction with their work than in a traditional practice; and investing in comprehensive medical home care has improved quality and reduced total cost to the system because of better care and coordination.”

The next great idea was easier to find than a necktie at TechBuzz2014, a semi-annual event put on by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) where entrepreneurs, given more to flannel shirts than business suits, pitched their fledgling companies to an auditorium full of venture capital and angel investors.

The event aimed to link investment firms with 20 promising startups seeking about $1 million to $3 million to expand their businesses, hire talent and begin building their products.

Dozens of startups have presented at six similar TechBuzz gatherings since 2010 and 40 percent received venture funding within a year as a result, said MAVA Executive Director Julia Spicer. The growth of TechBuzz over the past four years reflects growth of early and venture-stage investing in the mid-Atlantic. The Baltimore-Washington region is among the most active areas for venture investing in the country, along with California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas.

Venture capital funding in Maryland increased to $663 million in 2013 from $408 million in 2012, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. The state’s 63 percent growth far outpaced the national average of 7 percent. Maryland is also establishing itself as a major market for early investment, according to a report by the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI) last month.

That was evident Tuesday at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club, a newly renovated Art Deco-era moviehouse, where startups, some of whom who just sold their first product weeks ago, came in search of early “angel” or “Series A” investment. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) was a co-sponsor of the event. James Keeratisakdawong, Principal with DBED’s Maryland Venture Fund (MVF), co-chaired the committee that reviewed the applicants and selected 20 companies to present.

The startups spanned a wide array of ideas and products, some targeting consumers, others geared to the enterprise market. Companies ranged from Basepair, developer of software to analyze DNA sequencing data, to Brain Sentry, a Bethesda company whose wearable helmet sensors can signal when a youngster in a contact sport needs to be checked for a possible concussion, to LoveThatFit, a “virtual fitting” technology that enables users to try on clothes “virtually” and that aims to improve online apparel shopping. Armed only with slide presentations and “elevator speeches,” the entrepreneurs had four minutes to make a pitch. A countdown clock ensured not a second more. A panel of judges then evaluated them in the venture capital equivalent of “American Idol.”

One judge, MVF Managing Director Thomas S. Dann, observed that many local startups are focused on the hot markets of cybersecurity and cloud computing. But whatever the venture, he said, “we want to see entrepreneurs focused on the problem that the customer is trying to solve and how the ROI [return on investment] they offer can attract that next customer.”

Passion was also important. The judges said they made special note of whether the entrepreneur was motivated by a “pain point” they had experienced while seeking a product or service. One example of that was Mark Olcott, who described his College Park-based company Vitus Vet as a cloud-based network of medical records for pets. He described an example of a dog named Bogey that was brought to an emergency clinic for treatment after being injured. The pet died later that night because it couldn’t tolerate the type of anesthesia administered.

Olcott revealed he was the vet.

“I felt like I got kicked in the stomach,” he said.

Startups also must not overlook the potential competition for what they’re trying to create, said Dayna Grayson, a Partner at New Enterprise Associates, which ranked sixth last year for investments in Maryland, according to a recent Baltimore Business Journal survey. “A lot of presenters today didn’t talk about competitors,” she said. “Many large public companies have few direct competitors. It’s not enough to say you’re going to be among the best of five or six.”

Ultimately, as one investor judge told the entrepreneurs, the proof is in the product: “You get enough customers,” he remarked, “then you don’t need our money.”

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

A growing number of firms in the medical device industry call Maryland home. But this week, a select group has ventured across the globe to participate in MEDICA, the world’s leading trade fair for medicine and medical technology.

Between Nov. 20 and Nov. 23, international medical market leaders, including 4,641 exhibitors from 66 countries, are descending on Dusseldorf, Germany for a range of MEDICA events. The BioMaryland Center, through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, is a state exhibitor, promoting Maryland’s medical-friendly business environment and also sponsoring attendance from participating companies.

“It really is a global event. We’re going to have probably over 150,000 visitors to our state booth,” said Carey Esslinger, regional manager over Europe, Russia, FSU, Latin America and the Balkans for Maryland DBED.

Maryland companies in attendance include Harmans-based AIV Inc.; Hanover-based BTE Technologies; Ijamsville-based BioAssay Works, LLC; Frederick-based BioElectronics Corporation; Annapolis-based Compass Languages; Westminster-based ImmunO4; Bethesda-based Dimetek Digital Medical Technologies Ltd.; Landover-based Man & Machine, Inc.; Germantown-based Medispec Ltd.; Rockville-based Tetracore, Inc.; and Pasadena-based Moss Inc.

Roughly half of the companies are showing in the Maryland booth, while others have “graduated” to become individual exhibitors, Esslinger said.

In recent years, Maryland’s participation in the show has planted the seeds for exporting agreements and foreign investment deals.

“It’s a perfect platform for Maryland companies looking to expand their sales internationally,” Esslinger said. “We have a number of Maryland companies attending the show this year, including manufacturers such as Man & Machine, who design water-proof keyboards used in hospitals, and Tetracore, which has developed a field testing kit for biological agents.”

The state, now considered a regular on the show floor, has developed a global reputation.

“Maryland’s strengths—such as proximity to federal facilities like the FDA, state of the art medical institutions like Johns Hopkins University and a highly educated workforce—are recognized and respected internationally,” he said.

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

The second annual InvestMaryland Challenge is in full swing. If your business is in need of a jump start, check out this site for more information about the national business competition. The Challenge offers applicants free admission to networking events, social media promotion, scoring and feedback from judges, exposure to venture capital firms and angel investors and the chance to compete for more than $600,000 in prizes. Winners of the Life Sciences, IT, Cybersecurity and General Industry categories will each win $100,000 awards. Others will take home smaller grants, incubator space, consulting services and other cash and in-kind prizes. Applications are due by Dec. 6.

Judges include a distinguished lineup of industry leaders and experts in a variety of fields. Meet a selection of judges below.

Meet The Judges:

IT-robDoub

ROBB DOUB

Robb Doub joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2003. Robb is the lead administrative partner and serves as a board director for eCoast Sales Solutions and Appfluent Technology, and is lead partner or board observer for K2 Global, Kroll Bond Ratings, Navtrak, Three Stage Media, CSA Medical and TidalTV. He also serves on the board of Egeen International and the Conflicts Advisory Board of the off-shore hedge funds.

IT-daphneDufresneDAPHNE DUFRESNE

Daphne Dufresne joined RLJ Equity Partners from Parish Capital Advisors, where she was a Venture Partner managing the direct investment and co-investment program. Formerly, Ms. Dufresne was a Principal at Weston Presidio Capital with $3.4 billion of assets under management. She also served as Associate Director in the Bank of Scotland’s Structured Finance Group. Ms. Dufresne received her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

LS_Christy_W_WyskielCHRISTY WILLIAMS WYSKIEL

Christy Williams Wyskiel is an entrepreneur and investor with 20 years of experience focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries. Previously, Christy was Managing Director at Maverick Capital, an equity hedge fund with $12 billion under management. She co-founded GrayBug, an ophthalmic drug-delivery company. In 2012, Christy joined the Johns Hopkins Alliance, a board charged with evaluating the commercial viability of research projects at JHU.

CS_Frederick_FerrerFREDERICK J. FERRER

Frederick J. Ferrer has over three decades of experience in the National Security, Intelligence Community (IC), Homeland Defense and Cyber. Mr. Ferrer holds a Master’s of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and serves in a number of leadership capacities, including the Maryland Commission on Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence; National STEM Consortium Advisory Committee; and Chesapeake Regional Tech Council.

GEN_Deb_TillettDEBORAH TILLETT

As the Executive Director and President of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore, Ms. Tillett is responsible for management of budgetary, administrative, programmatic functions and strategic planning. Prior to joining ETC, Ms. Tillett served as president and co-founder of Immersive 3D, LLC, a technology start-up providing web-based 3D computer gaming solutions for K-20 education and offering contract-based technology services.

See the full list of judges and submit your application on InvestMarylandChallenge.org.

Maryland government agencies have a history of funding worker training projects, but never before has training been made so widely available across an entire industry.

Under the direction of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland Workforce Training Initiative is now offering an unprecedented opportunity for business leaders to form partnerships and offer the type of training needed to significantly increase worker productivity.

The first step is filling out an EARN Maryland Planning Grant application, which first became available on Oct. 15 and must be submitted by Nov. 12, 2013. Lead applicants will apply for $25,000 to fund the creation of a Strategic Industry Partnership Workforce Training Plan. There is no limit to the number of these grants the state will issue.

Between November 2013 and April 2014, the funding will assist the lead applicant in forming a partnership with fellow key players in their industry. Many will take advantage of professional membership organizations that already join business leaders together according to their shared interests. Through conferences, meetings and training sessions, they will determine the type of training needed most among workers in their industry and submit their requests for training programs.

By May 2014, DLLR will award implementation grants for approved Strategic Industry Partnership Workforce Training Plans.

The lead applicant for the initial $25,000 planning grant can fall into any of the following categories:

• Employer
• Nonprofit organization
• Two- and four-year institution of higher education
• Local Workforce Board
• Industry association
• Labor union
• Local government
• Local or regional economic development entity

While the initiative is the first of its kind in Maryland, similar programs have succeeded in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and have already assisted workers in industries including aerospace, healthcare and clean energy. More information on their best practices is available through DLLR.

Those seeking more information should consider watching webinars on the program through DLLR’s website or attending a statewide Pre-Proposal Conference at 1 p.m. on October 18 at the Anne Arundel Community College, Robert E. Kauffman Theater, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, MD 21012.

Keep up with the latest Maryland business news.

BALTIMORE, MD (August 26, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today joined with Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and City of Frederick Mayor Randy McClement to announce the expansion of a Montgomery County life sciences company which plans to add new jobs in Montgomery and Frederick counties over the next several years. Precision for Medicine, a leading provider of specialized services, technology and infrastructure for life sciences companies, will consolidate and expand its headquarters in a new location in Bethesda and will also expand its operations in the City of Frederick to be used for biorepository and lab operations. In total, the company will retain 81 jobs, and will create 170 new jobs between the two locations.

“By working with our partners in Montgomery County and the City of Frederick as well the leadership of Precision for Medicine, we are preserving 81 jobs, creating 170 new jobs and ensuring that this company will continue to grow and invest in Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “Our most important priority continues to be creating and retaining the kinds of highly-skilled, innovative jobs that will help sustain Maryland’s economy for today and for decades to come.”

“Today’s announcement that Precision for Medicine will remain and expand in Montgomery County is exciting news, and reinforces why we are one of the top biotech clusters in the country,” said County Executive Leggett.  “By strategically partnering with the State of Maryland and the City of Frederick, we show the regional and national business community that Montgomery County and Maryland are indeed business friendly and stand ready to assist companies who have demonstrated their ability and desire to grow here and add coveted, knowledge-based jobs to our local economy.”

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BALTIMORE, MD (July 31, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today visited University of Maryland’s BioPark where he highlighted the integral role biotechnology plays in Maryland’s innovation economy. More than 600 people work in 30 companies at the University of Maryland BioPark, moving us toward cures for diseases like cancer, malaria and diabetes.

Maryland is the regional leader in job creation. Together, with our dynamic private sector, we’re creating jobs faster than any other state in the Mid-Atlantic, and we’ve recovered over 99% of the jobs lost in the national recession. What’s more, Maryland is home to the nation’s second highest concentration of STEM workers and has one of the fastest STEM job growth rates in the country. Because STEM jobs are expected to grow nearly twice as fast as non-STEM jobs in the next five years and will likely continue to outpace their non-STEM counterparts in wages, Governor O’Malley is determined to continue his focus on creating STEM jobs and to continue working to prepare Marylanders for those jobs.

Click here to learn how Governor O’Malley is investing in our STEM industries and workforce.

Governor Martin O’Malley visits the University of Maryland’s BioPark, a center for biotechnology research and advancement.

Governor Martin O’Malley visits the University of Maryland’s BioPark, a center for biotechnology research and advancement.

Johns Hopkins Hospital is back on top.

In its annual “Best Hospitals” ranking released Tuesday morning, U.S. News & World Report named the Baltimore-based medical center No. 1 in the nation.

Paul B. Rothman, M.D., dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ronald R. Peterson, president of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine, released a joint letter of congratulations on Tuesday morning, stating:

The Johns Hopkins Hospital will always be the hospital ranked #1 for 21 years in a row thanks to you, the people of Johns Hopkins Medicine … Given the competitive, rapidly changing health care environment and the realization that U.S. News evaluated more than 4,806 hospitals, we hope you share our incredible pride in achieving this top-tier ranking among the best hospitals in the United States.

Johns Hopkins holds the record for topping the magazine’s national “Honor Roll” for 21 consecutive years, starting in 1991. The streak was broken in 2012, when it fell behind Massachusetts General Hospital. A Hopkins representative confirmed staff members were celebrating the top ranking on Tuesday afternoon.

Hospitals receive “Honor Roll” placement by ranking near the top in at least six medical specialties. The magazine ranked Johns Hopkins first nationally in ear, nose and throat; geriatrics; neurology and neurosurgery; rheumatology; and urology.

The magazine also ranks hospitals by state. Within Maryland, the top five include:

Find the full national rankings from U.S. News & World Report here.

A new public-private partnership, rooted in Maryland-based research efforts, intends to improve worldwide vaccine manufacturing, University of Maryland Ventures announced on Thursday.

The partnership brings together Frank Robb, Ph.D. of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Rockville-based Fina Biosolutions. Their joint effort to improve manufacturing of a key vaccine component will be funded by PATH, an international nonprofit organization.

“It is designed to yield broader availability of an important vaccine component, which is highly effective, but prohibitively expensive for some applications, particularly in the developing world,” Robb said in a statement.

Robb’s research focuses on microbes found in extreme environments that can be used to help stabilize the manufacturing of proteins, including those used in vaccines.

“We are pleased to be working with organizations that share FinaBio’s mission to help make conjugate vaccines affordable for the emerging markets. The partnership with PATH and the University of Maryland will allow us to achieve this goal and to help to make vaccines that will save countless lives,” Andrew Lees, Ph.D., scientific director of Fina Biosolutions said in a statement.

Phil Robilotto, assistant vice president of the University of Maryland’s Office of Technology Transfer, added: “Following on the heels of our Wellcome Trust-Bharat Biotech collaboration formed last year. UMB’s Office of Technology Transfer, in conjunction with UM Ventures, is very happy to be facilitating more of these important public-private partnerships on behalf of the campus and its investigators, such as Dr. Robb.”

University of Maryland Ventures facilitated this most recent partnership and is currently responsible for combining the entrepreneurial efforts of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park.

TEDCO - Maryland Technology Development CorporationUniversity labs and entrepreneurs are apt at developing great ideas—but getting those ideas to market can often prove challenging. That’s where the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, known as TEDCO, stands ready to help.

TEDCO, through its Maryland Innovation Initiative, recently awarded $2,960,466 to 29 ventures, including nine start-up companies and 20 university projects in the therapeutic, software, medical, mobile and online technologies industries. The Maryland Innovation Initiative is a partnership between the state and the University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, Baltimore; Johns Hopkins University; and Morgan State University.

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Rachel King

Rachel King, co-founder and CEO of GlycoMimetics in Gaithersburg, has been named chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board.

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 5, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that Rachel King, co-founder and CEO of GlycoMimetics in Gaithersburg, has been named chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board (LSAB). King will replace chair H. Thomas Watkins, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Human Genome Sciences, Inc., who has served on the Board since Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly created it in 2007. As chair, Watkins led the Board through a strategic planning process that, working closely with Governor O’Malley, resulted in BioMaryland 2020, a 10-year, $1.3 billion strategy for moving Maryland’s life sciences industry forward.

“I want to commend Tom for leading the effort to develop a comprehensive plan that has helped position Maryland as a global leader in the life sciences. To date, we have invested more than $600 million in initiatives that create jobs and expand opportunity for decades to come,” said Governor O’Malley. “We are equally fortunate to have someone of Rachel’s caliber as our new chair, as well as a board comprised of some of the State’s most skilled and talented scientists, educators and business professionals to help us grow our Innovation Economy.”

“It was an honor to serve as Board chair and work with many dedicated colleagues and industry leaders to maximize Maryland’s tremendous life sciences assets and build a roadmap for the industry’s future,” said Watkins. “I also want to thank Governor O’Malley for his vision for the life sciences in Maryland and for his continued support, which has resulted in making our State one of the top science and technology states in the country.”

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