The Washington Post, February 25, 2011
Patients at one of every five Maryland hospitals suffered higher-than-state-average rates of infections, pneumonia and other complications last year, and most of those medical centers will face a financial penalty as a result, regulators say. The nine hospitals with higher rates include several in the Washington area: Prince George's Hospital Center, Shady Grove Adventist, Montgomery General, Doctors Community and Washington Adventist. The others are University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Civista Medical Center in La Plata and Memorial Hospital in Cumberland, which has since merged into the Western Maryland Health System. The penalties total $2.1 million. Because penalties are based on total cost of complications in addition to the rates, St. Joseph will not be penalized while two hospitals with average rates -- Laurel Regional and Union Hospital in Cecil County -- will because they had more of a problem with higher-cost complications.