Governor Moore Announces Appointments to Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission

Published: 6/8/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore today announced appointments to Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission.

"To build a state that leaves no one behind, it's essential that we keep health care costs low and protect the financial vitality of our hospitals," said Gov. Moore. “Mr. Johnson, Ms. McCann, and Dr. Sharfstein possess the wisdom, vision, and expertise to help guide this commission toward success and ensure that Maryland leads the nation in affordable, high-quality health care.”

In 1977, Maryland was granted a waiver by the federal government to exempt the state from national Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement principles. Maryland remains the only state to retain such a system. The goals of the commission are:

  • Constrain hospital cost growth
  • Ensure that hospitals have the financial ability to provide efficient, high quality services to all Marylanders
  • Increase the equity or fairness of hospital financing
The Health Services Cost Review Commission’s primary mandates are to review and approve reasonable hospital rates and publicly disclose information on the costs and financial performance of Maryland hospitals and establish hospital-specific and service-specific rates for all inpatient, hospital-based outpatient and emergency services. The commission does not regulate physician fees and all payers pay Maryland hospitals on the basis of the rates established by the commission. 

Under the new “Total Cost of Care Model,” which began in January 2019 and builds upon the successes of the All-Payer Model, Maryland will progressively transform care delivery across the health care system with the objective of improving health and quality of care. The Total Cost of Care Model will give the state flexibility to tailor initiatives to the Maryland health care context and encourage providers to drive health care innovation.  

Governor Moore made the following appointments to the Health Services Cost Review Commission:

Ricardo R. Johnson
Ricardo R. Johnson is Executive Vice President for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the Mid-Atlantic region's largest not-for-profit healthcare company. In his position, Ricardo leads a division focused on driving alignment throughout CareFirst to ensure the company is holistically meeting its mission of advancing accessible, affordable, and equitable healthcare. Much of this is done through Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, which invests in, supports, and creates solutions that improve healthcare.  

Prior to his current position, Ricardo served in a variety of leadership roles at CareFirst. He began his career in the industry by practicing healthcare law and joined CareFirst in 2011 as Associate General Counsel. He then worked as the Special Assistant to the CEO of CareFirst, where he laid the groundwork for what would become Healthworx in 2018.

Ricardo has served on a variety of professional and nonprofit boards throughout his career, including Mother Seton Academy, La Salle University and Central Scholarship. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Ricardo holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland and an undergraduate degree from La Salle University.

Nicki McCann
Nicki McCann has served as vice president of provider/payer transformation for the Johns Hopkins Health System since 2019. In this role, she works alongside providers and community organizations to develop strategies and programs that improve patient-centered care, in alignment with the Maryland Total Cost of Care Model. McCann also works with providers, policy makers, and payers to explore value-based models of care. Her other role within Johns Hopkins includes overseeing management and expansion of affiliations and partnerships with regional hospitals and health systems.

McCann has many years of experience in program development and management, policy analysis and leadership advisory work. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Nicki served at the Department of Legislative Services, where she was committee counsel to the House Committee on Appropriations. She came to Johns Hopkins in 2010 as director of health policy for government affairs. In this role, she advised leadership on health policy issues and advocated to advance industry priorities under Maryland’s rate-setting system. In 2018, McCann was appointed chief of staff for The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

She is chair of the Maryland Medicaid Advisory Committee and a fellow in the Carol Emmott Fellowship program for women leaders. She is also past chair of the Greater Baltimore Regional Integrated Crisis System and a board member for NAMI Metro-Baltimore.

Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein
Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein is Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He is also the Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

Previously, Dr. Sharfstein served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from January 2011 to December 2014. In this position, he was a leader of efforts to align Maryland’s health care system with improved health outcomes, culminating in the adoption of a revised payment model for all hospital care for Maryland residents. He also oversaw the development of a statewide health improvement process that convened and empowered 18 local public-private coalitions to improve core metrics of population health.

From March 2009 to January 2011, Dr. Sharfstein served as Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where he oversaw the agency’s successful performance management and transparency initiatives.  From December 2005 to March 2009, as Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City, Dr. Sharfstein led innovative efforts that contributed to major declines in both overdose deaths and infant mortality rates.  From July 2001 to December 2005, as minority professional staff and health policy advisor for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, Dr. Sharfstein was engaged in a wide range of oversight and legislative activities on health care topics, including emergency preparedness, HIV, and the politicization of science.

Dr. Sharfstein graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard College in 1991.  From August 1991 to August 1992, he worked on public health projects in Guatemala and Costa Rica with a Frederick Sheldon Prize Fellowship.  He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1996, from the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Children’s Hospital in 1999, and from the fellowship in general academic pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine in 2001.

For more information about the Health Services Cost Review Commission, visit