Hospitals in Maryland likely to absorb all of sequester cut

Maryland's hospitals should absorb the 2 percent Medicare rate cut triggered by the sequester, reported The Baltimore Sun--a decision that could lead to the loss of jobs. Maryland's Health Services Cost Review Commission has released a proposal that would cause the hospitals to absorb all of the costs for the last three months of fiscal 2013.

The commission said that would translate to a $7 million to $8 million monthly loss for the state's hospitals, according to the Sun. It is expected to vote on the proposal this week.

The Maryland Hospital Association, however, estimated the cuts would translate to a loss of 1,450 jobs for every 1 percent drop in hospital revenue, according to a separate article by the Sun.

"Our view is now is not the time to impose yet another cut on Maryland hospitals," MHA CEO Carmela Coyle told the Sun. "We are too financially fragile."

The state's hospitals reported an aggregate profit margin for the first eight months of the 2013 fiscal year of only 0.8 percent, while 42 percent have negative operating margins, according to the MHA report.

For more:
- read the Baltimore Sun article about the rate setting commission and the article about potential hospital job losses
- here's the MHA report (.pdf)