Today, the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) voted to allow hospitals to raise our rates by a mere 1.65% for the period of July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, which is less than inflation. Maryland hospitals asked for a 2.11% increase with a temporary .32% to offset the Sequester cuts which impacted hospitals in April of this year. Previously, the HSCRC didn't act on any relief for hospitals on the Sequester cuts, but asked that we be patient and that they would address the Sequester impact at their June 6th meeting. LOL!
This inaction by the Commission will have a detrimental effect on most hospitals in Maryland and will only worsen an already bad situation. Hospitals will be forced to cut jobs and curtail services beyond what they already have done as a result of the Sequester cuts. At WMHS, because of the action that we took earlier this fiscal year, we should be able to absorb the less than inflation increase, but not much more. The health insurers have asked for as high as almost a 17% increase in their rates while fighting the 2.43% increase for hospitals. It will be interesting to see what they are granted. Stay tuned.