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Health Care Costs are Too High

Understanding why cost and quality may differ among hospitals is the first step in controlling high health care costs. The Wear the Cost initiative aims to shed light on these questions and start a statewide conversation about health care cost and quality in Maryland.

This website shows a patient’s average cost for common hospital procedures at different Maryland hospitals. All of a patient’s health care services– such as doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and pharmacy prescriptions – are grouped into “episodes” of care to give a more complete picture of the total cost. An episode of care is the combination of all health care services related to a specific treatment or procedure from beginning to end. For each procedure, we list the average total cost for an episode of care at different Maryland hospitals, allowing you to compare costs from one hospital to the next. We show you two kinds of costs: first, we show you the typical and expected costs for the procedure; and second, we show you the costs that may be due to events that could harm patients and that could be avoided – also known as potentially avoidable complications, or PACs. Hospitals that have low total costs and low rates of potentially avoidable complications may offer the best value for patients.

This website was created by the Maryland Health Care Commission’s Center for Analysis and Information Systems.

About the Maryland Health Care Commission

The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) is an independent regulatory agency for the State of Maryland whose mission is to ensure that informed consumers hold the health care system accountable and have access to affordable and appropriate health care services. The Commission helps the State drive better value in health care by providing timely and accurate information on the availability, cost, and quality of health care services. For more information, visit our homepage.

About the Center for Analysis and Information Systems

MHCC’s Center for Analysis and Information Systems has expertise in creating, maintaining, and analyzing large datasets and producing reports to guide health policy. The Center helped produce the information featured on this website using grant funding from the federal Center for Consumer Insurance Information and Operations to support medical price transparency.