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Hospital Rates

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.
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NEWS
March 6, 2014
Maryland's health care system faces its greatest transformation in a generation - not because of the state's troubled health insurance exchange or even directly because of the Affordable Care Act but because of a change in the state's decades-old system for compensating hospitals. Under the terms of Maryland's newly updated waiver to Medicare rules, hospitals will make profits by keeping people well and out of their wards rather than by admitting them and treating them when they get sick.
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.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2013
The Maryland Hospital Association has sent a letter to state health officials saying it will not support a proposal that would link medical spending to the state's economic growth. The state presented the proposal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in March as part of an application to update its Medicare waiver, an agreement with the federal government unique to Maryland that allows the state to set uniform hospital rates. The hospital association has said in the past the proposal raises concerns, but the April 25 letter is the first time the group publicly said it would not support it. The letter is addressed to Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein and John M. Colmers, chairman of the Health Services Cost Review Commission, the agency that sets hospital rates in Maryland.
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 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 | 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 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 | November 22, 1995
State health planners yesterday projected that Maryland's hospitals, despite recent downsizings to deal with declining occupancy rates, will still have excess capacity of 29 percent to 45 percent by the year 2000.While the problem of excess beds requires attention from regulators, it can be managed, said James R. Stanton, executive director of the Heath Resources Planning Commission, who presented the projections yesterday to the Senate Finance Health Subcommittee. He added, "I encourage you not to focus on the numbers."
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