1. In April, the Health Care Commission released a report that provides details about employment in the Maryland health care industry. From 2001 to 2004, hospital employment in Maryland grew 8.6%, compared to the national average of 6%. In contrast, employment in ambulatory care in Maryland grew more slowly than the national average during that time period-about 7.9% compared to 10.9%. Health carrier employment in Maryland grew by almost 10% from 2001 to 2004, compared to an increase of 1.1% nationally. Maryland's combined density of physicians, registered nurses, and physician assistants is higher than in most neighboring states, and higher than the U.S. average (11.8 per 1,000 population, compared to 9.9 nationally and 9.0 in Virginia), but approximately equal to that in New Jersey (10.8).
2. In May, the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) released its first Maryland Hospital Pricing Guide. The Guide provides information on the differences in charges among Maryland's hospitals for similar types of inpatient admissions and outpatient procedures. The Guide lists 15 of the most common inpatient diagnosis, with the corresponding average annual charge per case and average charge per day for each hospital in Maryland.
3. In August, the HSCRC released its "Disclosure of Hospital Financial and Statistical Data" based on FY 2005 data. The average amount paid for a hospital stay in Maryland rose by 4.2% to $8,958. Nationally, the rate of increase for the same time period was 5.6%. Profits on regulated hospital activities in FY 2005 increased to $415M from $351M in FY 2004. Uncompensated care was $738M in FY 2005, compared to $583 in FY 2004. Outpatient gross revenue was $2.8B in FY 2005, which represented an increase of 13.2%, compared to a 10.4% increase in FY 2004. Regulated hospital admissions increased 3% in FY 2005, while emergency room and clinic visits increased 6% to 3,638,968.