O’Malley touts efforts to reduce ‘preventable hospitalizations’

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Wednesday announced a 11.5 percent decrease in the rate of “preventable hospitalizations” in Maryland between 2011 and 2013, a trend he said is saving health-care costs and is the result of some innovative new programs.

O’Malley made the announcement during a stop at in Cumberland as part of a series of events assessing progress on goals he has set for the state.

Among the strategies O’Malley credited are health-enterprise zones, which focus resources in economically disadvantaged areas, and a system of electronic information-sharing among physicians and hospitals launched in 2009.

John Wagner

Brown, Hogan agree on televised debate

The two major-party candidates for Maryland governor have agreed to their first televised debate, to be held Oct. 7 in Baltimore.

WJZ-TV and the Baltimore Sun announced Wednesday that they will co-host the hour-long encounter between Democrat Anthony G. Brown and Republican Larry Hogan.

The televised debate is the first of several likely to occur before the November election. Another is being planned for the Washington region.

John Wagner

Va. reaches deal with Uber, Lyft

Virginia officials said Wednesday that they have reached an agreement with Uber and Lyft that allows the app-based ride-sharing services to continue operating in the state. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) said the solution brings the companies into compliance with Virginia law, ensures the safety of passengers and promotes a level playing field for transportation providers.

As a result of the deal, the state has granted Uber and Lyft their requests to operate in the state effective immediately. Under the agreement, the companies are required to run extensive background checks on drivers and disqualify those with convictions for any felony.

Luz Lazo