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MD's tough hospital spending proposal seen as 'nationally significant'

Kaiser Health News / The Washington Post, April 2, 2013

Maryland officials have proposed what analysts call the most ambitious initiative in the country to control soaring medical spending, a plan that would bring relief to employers and consumers footing the bill while bluntly challenging the state's powerful hospital industry. The blueprint, which needs the Obama administration's approval, would use Maryland's unique rate-setting system to keep hospital spending from growing no faster than the overall economy — roughly half its recent rate of increase. While some see Massachusetts as pushing boundaries by trying to establish health-spending ceilings, "Maryland has set hospital prices for more than 30 years" for insurance companies and Medicare alike, state health secretary Joshua Sharfstein said in an interview.