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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | August 11, 2011
Maryland hospitals have become more aggressive in recent years about vaccinating workers for the flu, but public health officials are pushing for even stricter programs to halt the spread of a virus that kills thousands each year. As manufacturers have begun shipping vaccine for the 2011-2012 flu season and vaccination programs are being planned, some officials are pushing hospitals to make vaccinations mandatory for employees. They say the vaccine is the most effective means of protecting workers and adds a crucial layer of safety for highly vulnerable patients such as newborns, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2014
Republican Larry Hogan denounced Democrat Anthony G. Brown's handling of Maryland's health exchange Monday during their second televised debate, calling the website a "complete disaster. " Brown refused to give in, acknowledging that the launch went poorly but pointing to 400,000 Marylanders who obtained health coverage and statistics showing a drop in uncompensated care at Maryland hospitals. He said the state has become one of the most competitive markets in the country. "We rolled up our sleeves and got it done," Brown said of the state's efforts to correct the website's problems.
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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2011
There was a significant uptick in the number of serious problems reported by Maryland hospitals in fiscal 2010, according to the annual report on patient care and safety released by state health officials. There were 265 top level adverse events reported in 2010, compared with 190 the year before. Health officials attributed the rise to better identification and reporting rather than more problems – particularly when it came to pressure ulcers. Falls remained the No. 1 adverse event at the hospital.
NEWS
By Ben Steffen, Donna Kinzer and Patricia Tomsko Nay | August 7, 2014
A recent Baltimore Sun article ("Maryland hospitals aren't reporting all errors and complications, experts say," July 26) focused on the benefit of facility-specific adverse medical event reporting to state regulators to improve patient safety, enhance consumer decision making and increase health care facility accountability. The article noted that reporting of "adverse events" — including wrong site surgery, surgeries on the wrong person, medication errors and assaults on patients — is not made public in Maryland.
NEWS
By Patricia Meisol and Patricia Meisol,Sun Staff Writer | May 25, 1994
To compete in a rapidly transforming health care industry, four Maryland hospitals have created a single health system to offer a full range of care far beyond that offered on their own campuses.The system, formed by an alliance of three Baltimore hospitals and Holy Cross in Silver Spring, becomes the state's largest full-service health care network and furthers a continuing consolidation of the marketplace in Maryland and around the country.Besides Holy Cross, the hospitals include the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, St. Agnes Hospital and Northwest Hospital Center.
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
By Diana K. Sugg and Diana K. Sugg,American Heart Association Pub Date: 9/24/96SUN STAFF | September 24, 1996
As a new generation of treatments emerges for stroke, several Maryland hospitals are gearing up, creating teams and streamlining emergency room procedures to make sure stroke victims are handled as aggressively as trauma and heart patients.In stroke, every minute now counts.If someone gets to the emergency room within a crucial three-hour window of noticing stroke symptoms, a clot-dissolving drug, called t-PA, can reopen their blocked artery, restore blood flow and prevent fatal or disabling brain damage.
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 | March 28, 2000
Maryland's hospitals posted the lowest profit margins in a decade last year, according to figures released yesterday by the Maryland Hospital Association. As a group, the hospitals posted a 0.6 percent margin on operations, and a 2.2 percent total margin, including nonhospital items such as investment income. That compares with a 3.1 percent operating margin and 3.9 percent total margin in 1998. Overall, about a quarter of hospitals ended the year in the red, according to the association.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | August 30, 2000
Maryland's nursing shortage is getting more severe, according to survey results released yesterday by the Maryland Hospital Association. A survey of Maryland's hospitals found 14.7 percent of nursing jobs vacant - up from 11 percent in a January survey and 3.3 percent in 1997. "It's particularly alarming to see how quickly this nursing shortage has hit Maryland hospitals," said Catherine M. Crowley, a nurse who is an assistant vice president at MHA. The MHA data was prepared to be presented today when a state commission begins considering what can be done to deal with the shortage.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2014
Significantly fewer people have been going to Maryland hospitals this year without health insurance, according to new data provided to The Baltimore Sun by state officials, who now say the rates that hospitals charge will rise more slowly for everyone. Hospitals are supporting a recommendation by the Health Services Cost Review Commission, which sets their rates, to reduce a proposed annual across-the-board rate increase that will take effect in July by about a quarter. "It's great that significantly fewer people are coming in without insurance than before," said Maryland Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | November 11, 2013
The Baltimore Fire Department has released the name of the man killed in the University of Maryland Medical Center fire last week as William Turner, born in 1950. Turner, a patient at the hospital, was killed in a fire in his room late Friday night. The cause of the fire and cause of death are still under investigation, spokespeople for the fire department and the hospital said. Mary Lynn Carver, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said the fire was contained to the one room and quickly extinguished.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2013
Three Western Maryland health systems said Tuesday they have signed a letter of intent to form an alliance as they prepare for changes in the way hospitals deliver care under health reform. The alliance formed by Frederick Regional Health System, Meritus Health and Western Maryland Health System will explore ways the hospitals can partner to better care for patients and find cost savings in ways such as combining management and clinical services. The systems have not yet formalized the affiliation and are not bound until final documents are approved by their boards.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2013
Dr. Howard F. Raskin, former chief of the gastroenterology department at Maryland General Hospital, died Sept. 17 at Duke University Hospital during surgery to replace a heart valve. The longtime Owings Mills resident was 87. "Howard was one of the smartest men I ever knew at the University of Maryland Hospital. He was top-drawer and had the manner of a gentleman," said Dr. Jason Max Masters, who retired in 1990 from the hospital, where he had been director of medical technology.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | June 3, 2013
The New York Times looked at the varying costs of a colonoscopy at hospitals around the country to illustrate how simple medical procedures are driving up health care costs. The story that ran over the weekend found that the costs of medical procedures in the United States are often higher than in other developing countries and varies widely from hospital to hospital. Baltimore has some of the lowest rates for colonoscopies, according to one New York Times chart. The most someone will pay for a colonoscopy in the city is $1,908.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2013
Maryland hospitals would get some help dealing with federal cuts under a proposed plan that would increase the rates they can charge by 1.65 percent. The staff of the Health Services Cost Review Commission, the agency responsible for setting hospital rates, will recommend the increase at a meeting next week. The rate increase would take effect July 1 and run through the end of the year. The Maryland Hospital Association doesn't think the proposed increase is enough and is suggesting a rate hike of 2.43 percent.
NEWS
By Fred Schulte and James Drew and Fred Schulte and James Drew,investigations@baltsun.com | December 21, 2008
Willie Mae White began worrying how she'd pay the $36,224 bill from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center a few weeks after having emergency brain surgery. She lived off Social Security and food stamps after decades working as a housekeeper. So she was thrilled when Bayview informed her in writing that her bill would be forgiven, at least in part. The hospital had little to lose, since it can recover its costs of free and unpaid care under a unique state program.
NEWS
November 17, 2012
In addition to Maryland hospitals encouraging new mothers to breast feed by describing the many benefits to the infants, the mothers themselves and the mother child bond ("Maryland releases breast-feeding recommendations for hospitals," Nov. 14), hospitals need to encourage the moms to eat healthy diets and reduce stress, the way they were encouraged to have healthy lifestyles while pregnant. Mindie Flamholz
NEWS
May 13, 2013
I'm pleased to see The Sun revealing the charges by Maryland hospitals to patients. The differences are astounding. ("Costs vary for same treatment," May 9). Recently, I spent three days and two nights at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center for an allergic reaction I had to an antibiotic given to me for a viral infection. I couldn't believe the amount charged for such a short stay. My bill, $4,745, was astounding. Although Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield paid most of it, I still had to pay for some of the charges.
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.
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