Dr. Jerry O’Connor, a surgeon who has practiced for 32 years at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, has some very serious concerns about the future of the Chestertown hospital. After three decades of watching the medical center be downsized and merged into the UM Health system, he has decided to speak out about those concerns as Shore Health begins a final review process for its long term strategic master plan.
One of Dr. O’Connor’s issues is related to the process that Shore Health has used in this planning effort, which he feels has ignored or marginalized the concerns of many medical professionals in Chestertown. But his main concern is the possible loss of in-patient care in Kent County. He believes this is a result of Shore Health, and other Maryland health care providers, relying on GBR (global budget revenue) and population health metrics which focuses on numbers rather than people.
In his Spy interview, Dr. O’Connor remains guardedly optimistic that Shore Regional Health leadership has not closed the door on a workable solution for Chestertown. In particular, he is eager for decision-makers to look more carefully at making Chestertown a “Critical Access Hospital” allowing for a more flexible reimbursement structure. While that might take some time, he feels Shore Health can in the meantime do far more outreach and consultation with doctors in Kent County before a final plan of action has been decided.
This video is approximately fifteen minutes in length