Annapolis Sunday Capital (Newspaper) - May 12, 2013, Annapolis, Maryland
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Free 2-hour high school math tutoring session from Rock Creek Prep, COUPON / All GET YOUR COUPONS: As much as $244 worth of money-saving coupons in todays paperStudy: Md. hospital charges are low, stable
But data show gaps in prices nationwide
By RACHAEL PACELLA [email protected]
Prices charged by hospitals nationwide vary widely, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Such prices are more uniform in Maryland, the only state in which a commission sets hospital rates Also, charges for common services in the state are half the na tional average.
The information from the federal agency, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows the charges for 100 common inpatient services at more than 3,000 hospitals nationwide in fiscal 2011.
A major joint replacement (without complications) that cost $5,303 in Oklahoma was $223,000 in California. In Maryland, the procedure’s average cost was $22,797, well below the national average of $33,310.
“At the end of the day, there are other parts of the country where the pricing of hospital stays is kind of like the wild, Wild West. Anybody can do whatever they want • to do," said A1 Redmer Jr., former Mary land insurance commissioner.
• See Page C14 for a chart detailing charges for services at Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Medical Center.
But not in Maryland.
“In Maryland, decades ago, they wanted to avoid having hospitals for the ‘haves’ and having different standards or quality of care for the ‘have-nots,’” Redmer said. That’s when the state’s Medicare waiver was born.
The waiver is essentially a deal with the federal government. Under it, the state sets
hospital rates, provided those rates don’t increase any faster than rates nationally.
The commission sets rates based on factors including location, patient volume and the severity of cases. As a result, there can be discrepancies among hospitals throughout Maryland The average difference between charges at Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Medical Center, for the 95 procedures they have in common, was $1,810.
Neither hospital was more expensive overall.
(See HOSPITAL, Page A14)
Purchase of downtown post office on state agenda
Proposal goes before Board of Public Works on Wednesday
By ALEX JACKSON [email protected]
A plan is coming together for the state to buy the Annapolis Post Office on Church Circle and more than double it in size.
The state Department of General Services will ask the Board of Public Works on Wednesday to approve the purchase of the Church Circle structure for $3.2 million.
The US Postal Service has agreed to sell the building to Maryland, as long as the state leases back a third of the structure for up to 20 months, according to a state Department of Legislative Services report in March.
According to the report, after the building is purchased the Department of General Services plans to spend more than $9 million on renovations and a 15,000 square-foot expansion. Altogether, the project is estimated to cost $12.9 million.
The state has been close to buying the 13,000-square-foot property for more than a year now.
The building will eventually be incorporated into the state government complex. Sam Cook, executive director of the Department of General Services, did not respond to requests for comment on how the building would be used.
Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O’Malley, said the state likes the building’s location. O’Malley sits on the Board of Public Works, along with state Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and state Comptroller Peter Franchot.
“Essentially, the post office has been for sale for a number of years and the state ultimately decided to buy it because of its proximity to the rest of the state complex in Annapolis and also because real estate in Annapolis rarely becomes available,” Guillory said in an email.
(See POST, Page A14)
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• View our Mother’s Day slideshow at www.capitalgazette.com to see more lessons readers learned from their moms.
Now a mother of two girls Taylor, 4, and Ryane, 1 Edwards has learned she’s a lot like mom.
A wife, mother and biology teacher at Northeast High School, she finds herself running around like the Energizer Bunny just like someone she knows.
“I already see it. Whenever there’s a school function, I feel like I need to be there,” she said.
And Edwards is happy to play in the dirt with her girls.
“I’m always outside with the girls, biking, taking them to the park, going down slides,” she said. “At birthday parties, I’m the one with the kids in the bounce house. I’m in there. I just find myself doing it.”
Her mother also loves a good slide.
“Just last summer, she was going up and down the water slide at the beach with Taylor, my oldest one,” Edwards said.
She plans to instill the same lesson which she recalls her own grandmother saying to her mother in her own children.
Being only as old as you feel is just one of the lessons Capital readers shared this Mother’s Day.
(See MOTHERS, Page A13)
By HEATHER RAWLYK [email protected]
n high school, Jenn Edwards’ friends would always joke that her mother knew all the gossip before she did.
“She was everywhere,” Edwards, 31, said.
“On the sports boosters, concession stand, fundraising, uniform shopping.”
To this day, Edwards, of Pasadena, says her mom, Patty Lincoln, 55, of Millersville, is constantly moving and is the life of the party, joining her family for Aerosmith concerts and Ravens tailgating.
“You’re only as old as you make yourself,” Lincoln always tells her daughter.
That’s the best lesson Edwards has ever learned from her mother.
Lessons taught me
Joshua McKerrow, Staff Jenn Edwards of Pasadena and her mother Patty Lincoln of Millersville hold Jenn’s daughters Ryane, 1, and Taylor, 4.