hospitals

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials have announced federal approval of a contract for the state's unique all-payer health care model.

State health officials on Monday announced the approval with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Maryland is the only state that can set its own pay rate for hospitals, and all must charge the same rate for services. The policy has been in place since the 1970s. Maryland modernized its one-of-a-kind Medicare waiver four years ago to move away from reimbursing hospitals on a fee-for-service basis to a fixed budget.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Hospital emergency rooms in Maryland are being overwhelmed with people needing treatment for mental health or substance-abuse problems.

The Baltimore Sun explored the issue after video showed workers at the University of Maryland Medical Center's Midtown Campus depositing a woman in a mental health crisis at a bus stop. The Sun reports that most hospitals aren't equipped to treat such patients, but they usually have no other place to go.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Hospitals in Maryland have started trying to reduce the number of highly addictive opioid drugs that are prescribed.

The Baltimore Sun reported Friday that Anne Arundel Health System hopes to cut such prescriptions in half by 2019. 

Anne Arundel joins hospitals across the region and state that are trying to fight against the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

Health systems officials recently conducted a review of opioid prescriptions among its doctors. It found wide disparities in how much was prescribed, even for the same health condition.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's emergency rooms are seeing a dramatic spike this year in the number of patients seeking treatment for heroin overdoses.

Data provided by the Virginia Department of Health shows that the state's emergency departments reported nearly 500 visits in the first four months of 2016 with heroin overdose as the primary complaint or discharge diagnosis.

That's roughly two-and-a half times the number of emergency department visits for heroin overdoses reported over the same period last year.

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REISTERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Leaders in the faith community are forming a new network to help people get health care in their communities.

State and local leaders are scheduled to join them on Monday to launch the Maryland Faith Community Health Network.

It's a partnership between the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, LifeBridge Health and dozens of local houses of faith to connect hospital navigators and faith-based liaisons. They will coordinate community resources to support people who need medical care.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Blood Bank of Delmarva is looking for blood and platelet donors.

WDEL-AM  reports that the blood bank is requesting people schedule an appointment at one of four donation centers in the region. In Delaware, they include Wilmington, Christiana and Dover. The blood bank also has a location in Salisbury, Maryland.

Michael Waite, a spokesman for the blood bank, says the greatest need is for O Negative. The group also has a need for O Positive and Positive donors.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has regained its place atop U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the nation's best hospitals.

Last year, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston was in the top spot, displacing Johns Hopkins, which had been ranked No. 1 for 21 consecutive years. Massachusetts General is ranked second for 2013.

Eighteen hospitals made the magazine's Honor Roll of the best hospitals in the country. To make the list, hospitals had to achieve a high ranking in at least six of 16 medical specialties.