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Hospital Rates

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.
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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.
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.
NEWS
By James Drew and Fred Schulte and James Drew and Fred Schulte,investigations@baltsun.com | December 23, 2008
Delegate John A. Hurson wanted to make Maryland's system for setting hospital rates fairer to poor people. As chairman of the House health committee, he was in a powerful position to make those changes happen. But he couldn't get several proposals through his own panel. They were watered down or removed from bills after the rate-setting agency and the powerful trade group representing hospitals teamed up against them.
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.
BUSINESS
By John Fairhall and John Fairhall,Sun Staff Writer | February 2, 1995
Helped by a surprising dip in spending on charity care, Maryland hospitals rang up record operating profits of $167 million in 1994 and kept their average cost increases below 3 percent, state officials reported yesterday.Although the report of low cost increases is welcome news for employers and consumers seeking relief from rising medical bills, some employers said Maryland hospitals could be even more efficient.The average cost of a stay at one of Maryland's 51 acute-care hospitals rose to $5,601, a 2.8 percent increase that was the smallest since the state began tracking this information in 1978.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | February 4, 1999
Maryland hospitals and the state regulators who set their rates came closer yesterday on a plan to hold down costs -- but the regulators still want to reduce costs, while the hospitals are still proposing a freeze on charges."
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