Maryland health spending rises

Marylanders spent $44.5 million on personal health care in 2010 as expenditures in the state continued to outpace the nation, according to a new report.

Spending on services including hospital care, prescription drugs and long-term care increased 3.5 percent compared to 2009, according to the report by The Maryland Health Care Commission. The report did not include government health spending such as Medicare and Medicaid.

On average a Maryland resident spent $7,698 on healthcare in 2010, 9 percent more than the national average of $7,066.

The biggest chunk of money in Maryland was spent on hospital care, which accounted for one-third of spending. About a quarter of spending was on doctors and clinical services and 15 percent on prescription drugs.

The growth in total spending in Maryland has mostly slowed in the last decade from 9.9 percent in 2001 to 3.5 percent in 2010.

Maryland's growth pattern reflected national trends that also show the growth rate across the country falling as the economy has slowed and new efforts to curb health care spending have worked.

The state ranked 15th in the average amount of money spent per resident in 2010 compared to other states in 2009. The 2009 figures for other states were used because it was the most current data available from all states. That average also was 10 percent higher than the median for all states, which was $6,850.

Marylanders also spent more money on nursing home care than the rest of the country.

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