1. In July, the Maryland Health Care Commission released a report on practitioner utilization trends among privately insured patients, using data from the Maryland Medical Care Data Base. The report found that from 2008 to 2009, total professional services fees increased 2% to $1,238 per insured user of such services, with the increase concentrated almost entirely in the HMO market. The report stated that increased payment per Relative Value Unit accounted for the increase.
2. In July, Robert Murray resigned as the Executive Director of the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC). Governor O’Malley also appointed four new members to the Commission, Dr. Bernadette C. Loftus, Jack C. Keane, Thomas R. Mullen and the HSCRC’s new Chairman, John M. Colmers.
3. In July, the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission adopted scaled rate adjustments for its Quality-based Reimbursement methodology (QBR), Reasonableness of Charges methodology (ROC) and Maryland Hospital Acquired Conditions methodology (MHAC). Hospitals scoring well on these scales will be allowed to raise their charges slightly, while hospitals doing poorly on these scales will either have to reduce their charges slightly, or not be permitted to raise their rates by all of this year’s inflation adjustment.