Relief and Recovery

June 13, 2022
The Health Services Cost Review Commission’s (HSCRC) move Wednesday to raise per capita revenue by 3.38% is welcome news as Maryland hospitals reset from the pandemic and cope with workforce challenges and cost inflation. The Commission’s unanimous decision raises global revenue budgets in rate year 2023 above the draft recommendation of 2.89%. This is approximately midway between HSCRC’s first draft and MHA’s ask. This compromise is a result of the field’s collective push to ensure Commissioners understand the full extent of your financial needs. (For more details, see MHA’s Newsbreak.) We made it clear: Our hospitals need relief. After 27 months of COVID surges, unpredictable patient volumes, historic workforce challenges, and now, scorching inflation, this is a much-needed investment. Commission staff first pegged inflation just above 3%, later raised it to 3.66% to match national estimates, then, in the final recommendation, raised it to 4.06%. That happened because MHA and our members convinced them of two things: First, that the current spike in costs justifies making up for last year’s underfunding of inflation. Second, that the federal government’s latest forecast of Medicare spending per beneficiary will allow room for growth in Maryland without fear that we will exceed the contractual growth cap. MHA and hospital leaders spoke assertively and in unison throughout this process. We showed the strength of the field. We thank all of you who lent your time, expertise, and voices to the cause. Your personal stories of the challenges your hospitals and your teams are facing made the difference. Bob Atlas President & CEO 
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