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Hospital Rates

BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | June 27, 1997
The state's HMO trade group told hospital rate-setters yesterday that they do not have legal authority to craft a "political compromise" on a plan to squeeze hospital rates.David M. Funk, a lawyer for the Maryland Association of Health Maintenance Organizations, said at a public hearing before the Health Services Cost Review Commission that it must go ahead with a plan to reduce hospital rates by nearly 4 percent, since the law creating the commission requires it to keep hospital costs reasonable.
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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2013
The state's hospitals would absorb all of the 2 percent Medicare cuts required by federal sequestration under a proposal released Thursday by the state panel that sets hospital rates. The recommendation by the staff of the Health Services Cost Review Commission would mean that state hospitals would not get rate increases for the last three months of fiscal year 2013, a decision that prompted intense criticism from medical institutions that say they already operate on slim margins.
BUSINESS
By Patricia Meisol and Patricia Meisol,Staff Writer | February 4, 1993
The cost of treating the uninsured at Maryland hospitals last year jumped by the largest amount in 12 years, prompting economists who run the state's hospital regulatory system to call for more affordable health insurance.But profits statewide jumped 85 percent last year after the system approved higher rates to pay for the expected increase in the number of people unable to pay for medical care.The bill for the uninsured -- $394 million -- grew 28 percent, according to figures released yesterday by the Health Services Cost Review Commission, which sets hospital rates in Maryland.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,Sun reporter | January 4, 2007
With hospital charges across the country rising faster than expected, Maryland's average hospital bill has fallen further behind the national average than had been projected - creating a multimillion-dollar dilemma for the Health Services Cost Review Commission, the state rate-setting panel. Hospitals say Maryland rates can rise slightly faster than national rates for the next two fiscal years and still meet the commission's target of keeping hospital costs below the national average. The commission's staff, backed by insurers, argue that hospitals will still be more profitable than today, even if rates should rise at a slower pace.
HEALTH
Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2014
A top official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Friday that a state plan to reduce hospital visits could serve as a national model for curbing costs while improving patient outcomes. Deputy Administrator and Director Jonathan Blum said the approach could disprove the notion that quality health care must be expensive. While other programs already have shown this across the country, he said, Maryland would be the first to test the premise statewide. "We want Maryland to be the basis for other states ... to test the boundaries of what it means to lower total cost of care and boost total quality of care," Blum said.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | December 23, 1998
Profit margins at Maryland hospitals, at record levels the past two years, dropped sharply in the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to data from the Maryland Hospital Association.The decline was caused by tightened state controls on hospital rates, claim denials by insurers, cuts in Medicare reimbursements for some services and a drop in patient days, said Nancy Fiedler, senior vice president of the hospital association."The worry has to do with the fact that there doesn't seem to be any indication the downturn is going to change," Fiedler said.
NEWS
March 10, 2014
The conclusion of The Sun's editorial, "Investing in lower health costs" (March 7), is that "unless the hospitals start making immediate and fundamental changes to the way they operate …" Maryland will not be successful under the new waiver from Medicare that allows the state to continue to keep health care costs down by setting hospital rates. Rest assured, Maryland's hospitals have already dived head first into immediate and fundamental changes, with most having agreed with the state to enter into budget arrangements that provide us a fixed budget per year to take care of people and work with other providers and community organizations to keep our communities healthier.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | October 17, 2000
Maryland hospitals saw their operating margins drop by about two-thirds in the fiscal year that ended June 30, the Maryland Hospital Association reported yesterday. As a group, the hospitals had a 0.65 percent margin on operations - revenue received for patient care minus costs - and a total margin of 2.36 percent. Total margin includes nonhospital revenue such as investment income. That's down from a 1.93 percent operating margin and a 2.98 percent total margin in the previous fiscal year.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | April 25, 1997
Maryland hospitals are gearing up to challenge state rate-setters' efforts to squeeze hospital rates by nearly 4 percent.The rate squeeze was triggered by a formula designed to make sure Maryland's hospital costs don't increase at a faster rate than the national average. This past year, Maryland costs grew by 4.5 percent, about double the national rate, while hospital profits reached record levels.The "correction factor," which began taking effect this month, doesn't mean every hospital will see its rates cut -- in fact, the Maryland Hospital Association estimated about half will get an increase.
NEWS
January 2, 2000
STATE regulators placed Maryland hospitals on a rate-loss diet a few years ago, but the bureaucrats may have overdone it: For some medical centers, it has turned into a starvation diet that could threaten patients' well-being. Indeed, there is evidence that regulators' cutbacks on hospital rate charges helped precipitate staffing reductions at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, especially nursing shortages, that led to serious medical problems for patients. Shady Grove's accreditation is now threatened.
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