Top Maryland officials highlighted a change in the way hospitals are charging patients for treatment – and a related push to prevent unnecessary admissions -- during a stop Wednesday in Western Maryland. Maryland has long regulated hospital rates under a unique agreement with federal officials, but has altered its waiver in a way that provides hospitals with a budget based on their projected patient population rather than a fee for every service performed. The idea is to cut costs and improve care by encouraging more preventive measures. On the tour of the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, Gov. Martin O'Malley, hospital officials and state health officials highlighted efforts to address preventable hospitalizations.