Coronavirus: Maryland hospitals given green light to raise rates on all patients to help pay for COVID-19 response

The cost of health care will be going up in Maryland after hospitals have been given permission to temporarily raise rates all patients are charged to help pay for emergency care related to COVID-19.

Hospitals have not been getting the revenue that’s normally generated from patients who have other hospital care because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Baltimore Sun reported.

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Normally the amounts hospitals charge for surgeries and childbirth are regulated by Maryland. But because of the coronavirus, the medical facilities are adding beds and getting equipment like ventilators and masks without the other health services bringing in money to offset the cost of the needed supplies.

The state’s Health Services Cost Review Commission gave hospitals permission to raise rates to provide emergency funding. Hospitals, if the facilities use the additional source of income, will have to tell the regulators that the amount increase is reasonable, the Sun reported.

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“If the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, hospitals will need additional financial resources to further expand capacity. Our agency is taking action now to ensure hospitals are appropriately funded and ready for the potential surge of patients,” Adam Kane, HSCRC’s chairman, said via press release.

But the cost of battling COVID-19 isn’t just coming from the pockets of patients; the federal government is also expected to pay some of the costs.

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“We are preparing for an increase in cases of novel coronavirus, and we want hospitals and health care systems to be ready,” Maryland Health Secretary Robert Neall said. “Maryland will pursue federal funding to help supplement the costs associated with the expanded care and resources that may be needed to care for Marylanders affected by this pandemic.”

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