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Feds push MD to think big on health cost control

Kaiser Health News / Politico, August 29, 2012

Federal officials are urging Maryland and its powerful health industry to build on the state's unique hospital rate-setting system to develop sweeping cost controls—including those on doctors—that could be used as a model for other states. The proposals could eventually affect nearly every aspect of the industry, and include rewarding doctors for cutting unneeded procedures and pledging the state to keep per-capita Medicare costs rising more slowly than those of the nation. The federal Department of Health and Human Services is "sending a message that they'd like to see more from Maryland," including a commitment to limit Medicare costs not just for hospitals but for doctors and drugs, said Baltimore healthcare lawyer Barry Rosen.