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NEWS
April 3, 2011
In "Obama's health care reform is unhealthy for hospitals" (March 19), the author states that health reform's focus on the need for hospitals to increase productivity is misguided and difficult to achieve. That statement is incorrect. Based on our experience, the use of advanced-process engineering methodology with real-time logistics technology has been shown to significantly reduce hospital costs while improving quality. For many years, the best hospital systems have shown that principles developed to increase the efficiency of production processes can also be applied to hospitals.
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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn | August 29, 2014
A study of firearm assaults in six states, including Maryland, found that young males make up the largest share of those who go to the hospital with an injury, supporting previous research. But it also found black females were more likely than white males to go to the hospital with such a wound. The study, by the Urban Institute based on 2010 hospital data, showed uninsured victims were more likely to die than those with insurance. And up to 64 percent of the hospital costs were paid for with public money.
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NEWS
By Calvin M. Pierson | January 11, 1999
IMAGINE the public hue and cry that would greet efforts to reduce education spending in Maryland to levels below the national average. Educating Maryland's children is a vital element of our state's quality of life. Usually measures that threaten our quality of life come under fire.Interestingly, some regulators, managed-care companies and politicians are backing a plan that endangers another key element of our quality of life -- hospitals. The state body that sets hospital rates has proposed requiring Maryland hospitals to reduce costs for a hospital stay to 3 percent below the national average over the next two years.
NEWS
April 11, 2013
Maryland is on the right track in trying to do something to cut hospital costs ("Hospitals uneasy over rate plan," April 7). A state proposal would establish a plan to tie medical spending to the growth of the economy. The plan, according to your story, "is making hospital executives uneasy. " Well, let me tell those executives that their present hospital costs are making me uneasy. In early March, I had an allergic reaction to "Z-pack," an antibiotic prescribed for a virus that had been diagnosed as a bacterial infection I suffered for three days with no appetite and little sleep and finally had to go to the emergency room at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | February 3, 2000
State regulators approved a plan yesterday to reform the way Maryland sets hospital rates after a work group hammered out a compromise that would phase in increases and avoid the uncertainty and rancor of annual debates over how much hospital rates should change. The plan will give hospitals an inpatient rate increase of 2 percent for the fiscal year beginning in July -- less than the expected inflation rate of 2.7 percent, which hospitals had been seeking. After the first year, rates could track inflation as long as Maryland keeps its costs below national benchmarks.
BUSINESS
By Ross Hetrick | February 5, 1992
The cost of an average stay in a Maryland hospital last year was $5,384, a 7.41 percent increase over the previous year -- a lower rate than the national average, according to a annual report relesed today by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission.While the percentage increase of an average hospital stay was held to a single digit, charges per day increased by 11.5 percent to $836.13. The difference in the increases was because the length of stay by patient dropped 4 percent during the year, according to John M. Colmers, executive director of the commission.
NEWS
June 14, 2012
Maryland is the only state in the nation to enjoy a federal exemption that allows it to regulate how much hospitals can charge patients, much like the state public service commission regulates utility rates. Under the system administered by state's Health Services Cost Review Commission, hospital patients are charged the same rate no matter where they seek care, and health insurance companies all contribute equally to help cover the cost of uncompensated care for people who lack the means to pay. The result has been that hospital costs as well as overall spending on health care have risen more slowly in Maryland than anywhere else in the country.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | February 8, 1996
Maryland hospitals last year posted their smallest cost increase on record -- and their largest profits -- according to a report yesterday by the state's hospital rate-setting board.The cost of an average hospital stay in Maryland -- the amount the hospital spent to treat the patient -- was $5,693, up just 1.63 percent from 1994. But charges -- the amount paid by the patient or insurance company -- increased 3.0 percent, so hospital profits jumped 93 percent, said the annual report of the Health Services Cost Review Commission.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | June 4, 1998
Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore says it did its best over the past few years to cut the cost of a hospital stay, discharging patients more quickly and doing more surgery on an outpatient basis. In the process, it has lost revenue -- and is showing a loss this year.Yesterday, the hospital asked for a rate increase that exceeds state guidelines.And the state commission that sets hospital rates found itself trying to balance two goals. Should it reward Union Memorial for cutting costs, or should it hold the line on rates to keep hospital costs in Maryland as low as possible?
NEWS
April 11, 2013
Maryland is on the right track in trying to do something to cut hospital costs ("Hospitals uneasy over rate plan," April 7). A state proposal would establish a plan to tie medical spending to the growth of the economy. The plan, according to your story, "is making hospital executives uneasy. " Well, let me tell those executives that their present hospital costs are making me uneasy. In early March, I had an allergic reaction to "Z-pack," an antibiotic prescribed for a virus that had been diagnosed as a bacterial infection I suffered for three days with no appetite and little sleep and finally had to go to the emergency room at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
NEWS
June 14, 2012
Maryland is the only state in the nation to enjoy a federal exemption that allows it to regulate how much hospitals can charge patients, much like the state public service commission regulates utility rates. Under the system administered by state's Health Services Cost Review Commission, hospital patients are charged the same rate no matter where they seek care, and health insurance companies all contribute equally to help cover the cost of uncompensated care for people who lack the means to pay. The result has been that hospital costs as well as overall spending on health care have risen more slowly in Maryland than anywhere else in the country.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker and Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2012
Patients and their insurers won't see much of a difference in hospital bills in the next year, as the state rate-setting panel decided to adopt a plan favored by the hospitals that holds payments "to a near-freeze level. " In a close vote, the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission agreed to lower the rates for inpatients by 1 percent but raise the rates for those receiving outpatient services by 2.59 percent, giving the hospitals an overall increase of 0.3 percent. The rates are for the year starting July 1. "This is not a pop-champagne-corks-and-confetti kind of moment," said Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association.
HEALTH
By Jay Hancock | July 17, 2011
If the nation is ever to get insane health care costs under control, the methods used are likely to be tougher, stronger versions of what's going on in Maryland: Stop certain hospitals and doctors from enriching themselves with unneeded procedures. Pay the system for keeping people healthy and curing the sick, not for performing tests and surgery. Cap prices by administrative decree and force hospitals to be more efficient. So the biggest changes in years at Maryland's price-setting agency for hospitals merit the attention of consumers, employers and everybody else.
NEWS
April 3, 2011
In "Obama's health care reform is unhealthy for hospitals" (March 19), the author states that health reform's focus on the need for hospitals to increase productivity is misguided and difficult to achieve. That statement is incorrect. Based on our experience, the use of advanced-process engineering methodology with real-time logistics technology has been shown to significantly reduce hospital costs while improving quality. For many years, the best hospital systems have shown that principles developed to increase the efficiency of production processes can also be applied to hospitals.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | June 23, 2010
Hospitals and insurers ended months of wrangling this week by agreeing to an increase in the rate hospitals can charge patients, but a state rate-setting commission will make the final decision. The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission was set to vote on a rate increase Thursday but received a letter from insurance company and hospital representatives this week asking for a two-week delay. The commission, which sets the rates that hospitals statewide charge and what everyone must pay, will now vote July 7. The new rates would be retroactive to July 1. The two sides said in the letter that they were recommending a rate increase of 2.44 percent.
NEWS
December 1, 2009
Not all hospitals are created equal. Sunday's article by Kelly Brewington and Jamie Smith Hopkins | The Baltimore Sun made several excellent points ("Pricey hospitals wary of reforms," Nov. 29). Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center are expensive. They are superior academic medical centers. They also welcome the most complicated and expensive medical challenges for a number of excellent reasons, and the results are equally excellent in many cases. What was not emphasized in Sunday's piece is that other hospitals do not have to bear the substantial expense of treating these patients.
BUSINESS
By Bloomberg Business News | June 1, 1995
NEW YORK -- Managed-health-care plans markedly reduce hospital costs, length of hospital stays and mortality rates, a new study shows.The survey of 1,300 hospitals looked at 50 U.S. cities with low, moderate and high levels of managed care, ranked by the percentage of the population enrolled in the plans and other factors.In cities with a high concentration of managed care -- including Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis -- discretionary hospital costs were an average of 11.5 percent lower than the national norm.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn | August 29, 2014
A study of firearm assaults in six states, including Maryland, found that young males make up the largest share of those who go to the hospital with an injury, supporting previous research. But it also found black females were more likely than white males to go to the hospital with such a wound. The study, by the Urban Institute based on 2010 hospital data, showed uninsured victims were more likely to die than those with insurance. And up to 64 percent of the hospital costs were paid for with public money.
NEWS
By Kelly Brewington and Jamie Smith Hopkins and Kelly Brewington and Jamie Smith Hopkins,kelly.brewington@baltsun.com and Jamie.Smith.Hopkins@baltsun.com | November 29, 2009
Leaders of Maryland's renowned teaching hospitals are feeling vulnerable as the push for a health care overhaul focuses attention on the tremendous differences in hospital costs around the country. Urban academic medical centers such as top-ranked Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland, with its world-class trauma center, are more expensive to run than community hospitals and rural teaching hospitals. The difference can mean patient bills that are higher by thousands of dollars.
HEALTH
By Kelly Brewington and Jamie Smith Hopkins | November 29, 2009
Leaders of Maryland's renowned teaching hospitals are feeling vulnerable as the push for a health care overhaul focuses attention on the tremendous differences in hospital costs around the country. Urban academic medical centers such as top-ranked Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland, with its world-class trauma center, are more expensive to run than community hospitals and rural teaching hospitals. The difference can mean patient bills that are higher by thousands of dollars.
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