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Medical Costs

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BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | August 9, 2002
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the area's largest insurer, expects premium increases for next year to be even higher than this year's, although the numbers are not final, James P. Day, a CareFirst spokesman, said yesterday. Day said CareFirst's premiums for the current year increased 14 percent to 18 percent across a range of insurance plans and markets. Some employers, he said, might have seen higher or lower increases this year - some less than 10 percent, some more than 20 percent - based on the age and health of the employee group.
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NEWS
June 12, 2014
Coal-fired power plants are the greatest source of greenhouse gas in America ( "Carbon rules can work," June 2). Neighboring West Virginia extracts 90 percent of its power from coal alone, and there are eight active coal units in Maryland that violate the EPA's requirements for the filtering of sulfur dioxide, smog-inducing nitrogen oxide and other toxic emissions. Maryland is in soot soup! Not surprisingly, there are 34 deaths per million asthma cases in Baltimore. Twenty-eight percent of city high school students claim diagnosis (national average was 20 percent in 2007)
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BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | March 1, 1997
Squeezed between flat premiums and rising medical costs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland said yesterday its 1996 earnings fell about a third, to $29.6 million from $44.3 million the year before, despite increases in membership and revenues.Membership grew by 64,000, or 5 percent, to 1.35 million, with almost all of the growth coming in the second half of the year. Largest areas of growth were Blue Cross HMO for senior citizens, MediCareFirst and the small employer market.While premiums stayed flat, the growth in membership pushed revenue to $1.96 billion, up 4.2 percent from $1.88 billion in 1995.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | November 24, 2012
When an occupational therapist walked through the home of 70-year-old Carol Glover two years ago, she immediately noticed safety hazards. Scatter rugs throughout the single-family home in Ednor Gardens left Glover, who has balance problems, vulnerable to tripping. She held onto the wall when she washed her feet in the bathtub, also leaving her open to slipping and falling. And because there was no ramp in her front yard, Glover dragged her walker up a grassy hill. But, thanks to a Johns Hopkins School of Nursing program, contractors fixed the hazards and Glover's home is now a safer place.
BUSINESS
By Ross Hetrick and Ross Hetrick,Evening Sun Staff | March 22, 1991
The Maryland General Assembly has shot down two key bills promoted by a joint labor and business effort to control escalating healthcare costs.One of the bills would have required a study of medical costs and its companion bill would have directed the state's Health Services Cost Review Commission to study whether hospital-based physicians should be regulated. Both measures were killed this week in committees in the House of Delegates and Senate."It appears nothing substantive that affects health care will emerge from this General Assembly," said Ernest B. Crofoot, chairman of the Health Cost Committee of the Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | April 11, 2001
HARTFORD, Conn. - Aetna Inc., the biggest U.S. health insurer, said yesterday that its first-quarter profit was "significantly" below analysts' estimates as medical costs rose more than expected. Aetna shares sank 18 percent. Aetna also said 2001 profit may be lower than the $1.20 to $1.30 a share it previously forecast. The company will take a first-quarter charge of $90 million before taxes for additional medical costs from before the first of this year. Aetna's costs rose after it changed rules to make it easier for customers to see doctors, resulting in more use of medical services.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | May 15, 1998
Holding medical costs nearly flat while increasing premiums, Mid Atlantic Medical Services Inc., the Rockville-based managed care company, yesterday reported $6.7 million in earnings for the first quarter -- more than eight times the $806,000 it earned in the first quarter of 1997.Earnings per diluted share were 14 cents, a penny less than the consensus of nine analysts surveyed by I/B/E/S International, for the quarter ended March 31. In the year-earlier period, per-share earnings were two cents.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | August 21, 2012
I wrote today about a Johns Hopkins study that found a decline in circumcisions has cost the country $2 billion in extra medical costs in the past decade. The Hopkins scientists say they think fewer babies are getting the procedure because states aren't paying for it under Medicaid. (Maryland isn't among them.) State Medicaid plans account for two-fifths of all births. Here are the 18 states that don't cover circumcisions and the year they stopped: Colorado 2011 South Carolina 2011 Louisiana 2005 Idaho 2005 Minnesota 2005 Maine 2004 Montana 2003 Utah 2003 Florida 2003 Missouri 2002 Arizona 2002 North Carolina 2002 California before 1999 North Dakota before 1999  Oregon before 1999 Mississippi before 1999 Nevada before 1999 Washington before 1999      
BUSINESS
By Patricia Meisol and Patricia Meisol,Staff Writer | May 29, 1992
The state Insurance Division approved a 5.1 percent rate increase yesterday for customers who have converted to private coverage from a group health insurance policy sold by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland.About 11,000 people, including many who have been laid off or fired from their jobs, are covered by such policies, which are sold directly to individuals who previously were insured in group Blue Cross plans.With the increase, the monthly premium for a middle-aged couple with a $250 deductible would be $405.
NEWS
February 22, 2011
Both the column by Jay Hancock ("Orthopedist-owned MRIs are recipe for soaring medical costs," Feb. 8) on orthopedist-owned MRI machines and CT scanners and the response by Dr. James York raised issues that need to be considered. However, both failed to address an important point: The overall impact of the proliferation of the devices on the cost of health care in this country. Other than in hospitals, MRI machines and CT scanners sit idle for many hours of the day. In the aggregate, the supply of MRI machines and CT scanners in the Baltimore metropolitan area greatly exceeds the reasonable demand for their use. Excess capacity is anathema to the success of most enterprises.
NEWS
October 10, 2012
As an former Catonsville resident living overseas, I've experienced the advantages of having a national health care program. Five years ago I got a liver transplant here, making me a real-life German (liver)-American (heart). All my medical costs were covered by my German public health insurance policy. Everyone gets sick at some time in their life, which is why everyone will need health care sooner or later. When everyone pays in to such a health insurance plan, costs will come down and everyone will benefit.
SPORTS
From Sun news services | September 24, 2012
The Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Monday that it has partnered with the family of Daniel Borowy to create the "Goals for Daniel" program, a fundraiser for medical costs for the 17-year-old victim of the Perry Hall High shooting last month. Borowy, who underwent three surgeries after the Aug. 24 shooting, recently returned home to continue his recovery. Goals for Daniel will begin Oct. 13 with a soccer marathon at Honeygo Regional Park from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Soccer players, students and members of the Perry Hall community and the surrounding areas will raise money for their participation in six-on-six soccer games.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | August 21, 2012
I wrote today about a Johns Hopkins study that found a decline in circumcisions has cost the country $2 billion in extra medical costs in the past decade. The Hopkins scientists say they think fewer babies are getting the procedure because states aren't paying for it under Medicaid. (Maryland isn't among them.) State Medicaid plans account for two-fifths of all births. Here are the 18 states that don't cover circumcisions and the year they stopped: Colorado 2011 South Carolina 2011 Louisiana 2005 Idaho 2005 Minnesota 2005 Maine 2004 Montana 2003 Utah 2003 Florida 2003 Missouri 2002 Arizona 2002 North Carolina 2002 California before 1999 North Dakota before 1999  Oregon before 1999 Mississippi before 1999 Nevada before 1999 Washington before 1999      
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | August 20, 2012
A 20-year decline in male circumcision has cost the country $2 billion in medical costs that could have been prevented, Johns Hopkins researchers say in a study released Monday. In what is believed to be the first look at the economic impact of male circumcision on the health care system, the Hopkins scientists say that boys who are not circumcised are more prone to sexually transmitted diseases and other health problems over a lifetime that are costly to treat. "The economic evidence is backing up what we already know medically," said Dr. Aaron Tobian, a Hopkins health epidemiologist and pathologist and senior researcher on the study.
NEWS
August 7, 2012
The recent article about the large amount of settlements in malpractice claims reveals the inequities in the medical system and how the trial lawyers continue to be getting favorable treatment while the actual delivery of medical care is controlled ("Doctors, hospitals concerned about hefty malpractice awards," Aug. 4). The Sun article highlights that since 2011 there has been $890 million in settlements paid out. Keep in mind that the trail lawyers receive anywhere from 25-to-33 percent of the settlement.
SPORTS
Sports Digest | July 4, 2012
Varsity Hoops games to aid former coach Pompey Two basketball games featuring Dunbar and Edmondson alumni, along with an after-party, will take place July 14 to raise money to help cover medical costs for legendary high school basketball and football coach Pete Pompey , who has Alzheimer's disease. Ads in the event's program can be purchased; costs are as follows: one-eighth page is $15 (best for business cards); a quarter-page is $20; half-page is $50; full page is $60; back page is $100; patron ads are $1. All ads will be in black and white.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | August 15, 2002
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the area's largest health insurer, reported yesterday second-quarter profit of $24.6 million, up 11 percent from $22.2 million in the corresponding period last year. However, medical costs escalated faster than premium revenue. Growth in membership and a reduction in the administrative costs ratio accounted for the additional earnings. Medical bills for CareFirst's 3.2 million members came in at $1.54 billion, 14.9 percent more than in the year-earlier quarter.
NEWS
By Greg Tasker and Greg Tasker,Staff writer | February 17, 1991
A health insurance plan proposed by Carroll school workers requires more study and will not be implemented this year."Portions of theplan were of interest to the board but they require a considerable amount of study," said William H. Hyde, assistant superintendent of administration. "There is not enough time to enable us to study it, negotiate it and have it become part of the (health insurance) plan."The school board's current insurance contracts with its carriers expire on Aug. 31. The open enrollment period for employees begins inMay and Hyde said school officials need considerable time to not only negotiate a health plan with workers, but also with potential carriers.
SPORTS
By Glenn Graham and The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2012
Two benefit basketball games featuring Dunbar and Edmondson alumni will take place Saturday, July 14 along with an after-party to raise money to help cover medical costs for legendary high school basketball and football coach Pete Pompey, who has Alzheimer's Disease. You can help by purchasing an ad in the event's program to promote your business or simply show your support. Costs for the ads are as follows based on size: 1/8 page is $15 (best for business cards); 1/4 page is $20; 1/2 page is $50; full page is $60; back page is $100; patron ads are $1.  All ads will be in black and white.
NEWS
April 3, 2012
In the arguments before the Supreme Court on the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act, Justice Antonin Scalia likened it to a slippery slope that could lead to the federal government forcing citizens to buy broccoli. In response, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. could have countered Mr. Scalia's argument by comparing the consumption of healthcare services by the willingly uninsured to shoplifting, which is a crime. Many of the 50 million Americans who don't have health insurance can afford to buy it but don't.
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