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The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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DHMH Press Releases : Report on State Health Care Expenditures



Baltimore, MD (May 21, 2012) -Maryland residents spent an estimated $44.5 billion on personal health care in 2010, up 3.5% from 2009, according to a report recently released by the Maryland Health Care Commission. Per capita expenditures reached $7,698, which was 8.9 percent higher than the national average of $7,066.

Though per capita health care expenditures continue to grow, the rate of growth has slowed since 2001, reflecting both nationwide efforts to curb health care costs and the continuing slowdown in the overall economy. In general, Maryland’s growth rate over the past decade has outpaced the growth rate of the United States as a whole. As the economy recovers, experts are concerned that spending growth will surge unless there are fundamental changes to the health care delivery system.

“The slowing of health care expenditures should not be misread to conclude that the challenges facing the health care system have diminished,” said Ben Steffen, Acting Executive Director of the Maryland Health Care Commission. “The health care system must confront ongoing gaps in cost, access, and quality.”

The rate of growth in per capita personal health care spending has declined in the State in recent years. Per capita spending is generally higher in the northeastern region of the United States, followed by the Mideast region, which includes Maryland. Of the Mideast states, per capita spending in Maryland is lowest.

The figure below shows Maryland’s per capita personal health care spending in comparison with that of the United States and the Mideast region (composed of DE, MD, NY, NJ, and PA) from 2000 through 2009. Per capita spending in Maryland has consistently remained below average spending in the Mideast region.  


Numerous Maryland initiatives aimed at constraining spending growth are underway. The greatest promise will be the integration of initiatives in the outpatient setting to slow the growth of institutional spending. The Medicaid program will continue efforts to replace institutional care with community based care. Maryland’s Patient Centered Medical home program emphasizes the role of primary care in improving patient health status and thereby reducing institutional spending. 

“Today’s report shows the high cost of health care facing families and businesses,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “The good news is that Maryland is pursuing major changes in the delivery of health care services that can bend the cost curve and improve health outcomes.” 

The full report on State Health Care Expenditures can be found at

For more information, call Linda Bartnyska at 410-764-3782 or Erin Dorrien at 410-764-3284.

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