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Increase in Maryland hospital financial aid urged

Baltimore Sun, February 13, 2009

Maryland law should be changed so that hospitals are required to provide charity care to more people and give financial-assistance information to all patients, according to the state's Health Services Cost Review Commission. In a report to Gov. Martin O'Malley, the Commission recommends several changes to the state's unique rate-setting system. The commission also recommended that hospitals be required to provide written notice about the availability of financial assistance to all patients before or as they are discharged, and that hospitals and their collection agencies be barred from adding interest and penalties on bills to uninsured patients for periods before court judgments are entered against them.