A. There shall be a Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council (Council).
B. The Council shall consist of the following members:
(1) The Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene (Secretary); and
(2) Fourteen additional members, to be appointed by the Governor, of which at least twelve shall be representative of the following groups:
(a) Health insurance carriers;
(c) Health care providers;
(d) Health care consumers;
(e) Public health experts on the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities; and
(f) Experts in health care quality and cost containment
C. To the extent practicable, the Councilís composition shall reflect:
(1) The gender, racial, and ethnic diversity of the State; and
(2) The geographic regions of the State.
D. The Governor shall appoint the chair of the Council.If the Secretary is not the chair of the Council, the Governor shall appoint the Secretary as the co-chair or the vice-chair.
E. With the exception of the Secretary (who shall be a permanent member of the Council):
(1) The term of a member of the Council shall be three years;
(2) The terms of members appointed by the Governor are staggered, as provided in subsection L;
(3) At the end of a term, a member continues to serve until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
F. A Member:
(1) May not serve more than two consecutive full terms; and
(2) Serves at the pleasure of the Governor.
G. The Council shall determine the times, places, and frequency of its meetings but shall meet at least four times each year.
H. A majority of the full authorized membership of the Council is a quorum.
I. The Council may act upon any matter with the authorization of a majority of the quorum present and voting.
J. A member of the Council may not receive compensation, but is entitled to reimbursement for expenses under the Standard State Travel Regulations as provided in the State budget.
K. The Secretary shall designate the staff necessary to provide support for the Council.
L. The terms of the initial appointed members of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council shall expire as follows:
(1) Four members in 2012;
(2) Five members in 2013; and
(3) Five members in 2014.
M. The Council shall:
(1) Coordinate and facilitate collaboration on health care quality improvement and cost containment initiatives among:
(a) Medical groups, hospitals, and other health care providers;
(b) Health insurance carriers and other health care purchasers;
(c) Health insurance exchanges;
(d) State and local governmental entities;
(e) Health care professional boards;
(f) Health advocacy groups; and
(g) Academic experts in health care.
(2) Develop and implement strategies that will improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care for individuals with chronic illnesses and at risk of chronic illness, and that are workable and effective for minority communities, recognizing cultural and linguistic differences;
(3) Provide updates on health care quality and cost containment initiatives and priorities to the Governor and General Assembly, the Health Care Reform Coordinating Council, State and local governmental entities, professional boards, industry groups, consumers, and other public and private stakeholders;
(4) Appoint a workgroup to explore and develop health care strategies and initiatives, including financial, performance-based incentives, to reduce and eliminate health disparities, and make recommendations regarding the development and implementation of those strategies.The initiatives should seek to:
(a) Improve quality and reduce costs;
(b) Build on existing efforts to address known disparities; and
(c) Identify best practice disparity programs in Maryland and across the country to determine if and how they should be implemented in Maryland.
(5) Support ongoing efforts to expand the use of health information technology in health care systems;
(6) Seek to leverage opportunities for demonstration and ongoing projects, federal grant funding, and other initiatives to improve quality and contain costs made available by the Affordable Care Act;
(7) Assess options and make recommendations regarding strategies for collecting and disseminating patient-centered outcomes research to develop and promote evidence-based practices among health care providers in the State;
(8) Examine and make recommendations on other issues relating generally to the mission of the Council to improve health care quality and contain health care costs; and
(9) Consider and recommend State public policy strategies for improving health and reducing cost.
N. The Council shall avoid duplication of existing health care quality improvement and cost containment efforts in the State.
O. The Council may:
(1) Adopt bylaws, rules, policies, or procedures to conduct business and carry out the purposes of the Council;
(2) Establish workgroups, committees, or task forces;
(3) Designate additional individuals with relevant expertise to serve on the workgroups, committees, or task forces; and
(4) Consult with other units of State and local government to carry out the duties of the Council.
P. On or before January 1 of each year, the Council shall submit a report to the Governor and the General Assembly, in accordance with Section 2-1246 of the State Government Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, describing:
(1) The activities of the Council during the year, including performance data where applicable; and
(2) Findings and recommendations for improving health care quality, increasing health equity, and reducing health care costs in the State.