Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

April 16, 2009

Hospitals, insurers unveil price plans

As consumers and employers struggle with soaring health costs, hospitals and insurers unveiled sharply contrasting proposals for hospital price increases Wednesday before the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. Hospitals proposed an average increase of 3.84 percent for the year beginning July 1 while insurers want 0.8 percent. There is always a gap between the two sides' proposals, "but rarely one of this magnitude," said Robert Murray, the commission's executive director. The commission will decide next month or in June.

Shore holding firm returns TARP funds

Shore Bancshares Inc., the Easton-based holding company of three banks on the Eastern Shore, said Wednesday that it repaid $25 million to the federal bank bailout program, buying back 25,000 preferred shares it had sold to the U.S. Treasury. The lender also paid accrued dividends of $208,333, according to a prepared statement. The company filed a notice last month with the Treasury to repay the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. The company said then that the terms of TARP had changed and that the public wrongly views banks as weak if they accept public funds. Other banks also have returned funds.

Bloomberg News

Investor group may buy Saturn brand

DETROIT : An Oklahoma City private equity firm has teamed with a group of Saturn dealers in an effort to buy the money-losing brand from General Motors Corp. The proposal from a group led by Black Oak Partners LLC is among several that GM has received for the brand, said GM spokesman Mike Morrissey. Jennifer Threet, a spokeswoman for the Black Oak group, said it delivered a proposal to GM last week and is awaiting a formal meeting. The group said in a statement issued Wednesday that it would get vehicles from GM initially, but it expects to sell smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles from other global manufacturers.

Associated Press

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