CEO Atlas is out at Maryland Hospital Association

Bryan P. Sears//February 10, 2023

CEO Atlas is out at Maryland Hospital Association

By Bryan P. Sears

//February 10, 2023

Bob Atlas

ANNAPOLIS — The head of the state’s hospital association is out after five years leading the organization.

Bob Atlas, who served as the president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association since 2018 and guided the group during the first three years of the pandemic, was quietly erased from the leadership listing on the group’s website Friday afternoon. The disappearance of any mention of Atlas follows 24 hours of speculation that his job was in jeopardy after a private exchange with a top legislative leader.

At 5:52 p.m. Friday, after multiple members of the association, including board members, declined to comment on Atlas’ tenure, the association released a brief statement: “Bob Atlas is no longer employed by the Maryland Hospital Association. We have no further comment at this time.”

Atlas’ departure comes amid ongoing discussions and legislation related to how Maryland hospitals handle Medicaid patients who need dental surgery.

Sources familiar with the issue said the association has been part of an ongoing series of weekly calls with legislative leaders, including Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk, D-Prince George’s and chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee.

Atlas was said to have been part of a phone meeting last week with the chairwoman.

One source said the call became heated and that Atlas asked the chairwoman to calm down.

Pena-Melnyk declined to comment on private meetings. She said she had no knowledge of Atlas’ departure.

On Friday, the chairwoman introduced a bill to require hospitals participating in the state’s medical assistance program to provide operating room time for surgical dental procedures. The bill also requires hospitals to update their plan annually with the Department of Health.

Atlas served as the point man for the state hospitals during the pandemic, lobbying the legislature and the governor’s office to provide flexibility for hospitals to deal with workplace shortages that emerged during the pandemic.

Before joining the Maryland association, Atlas had held a number of senior executive positions in the health care industry. He served as the president of health care consultancy for EBG Advisors, where he joined forces with Maryland officials to integrate care for Maryland residents eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

He was also an independent adviser on Medicaid reform to the Secretary of Health of North Carolina and Human Services.

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