BALTIMORE (AP) — The panel that set rates for hospitals in Maryland has adopted a plan that keeps payments at a near-freeze level.

The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission has agreed to raise rates for patients receiving outpatient services by 2.59 percent. But the panel will lower rates for inpatients by 1 percent, for an overall increase of .3 percent.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland’s system works to hold down costs by spreading the expense of patient care. All insurers, including private companies, the state, through Medicaid, and the federal government, with Medicare, pay the same rates. Maryland is the only state with such a program.

The new rates take effect July 1.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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