- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Maryland’s public health agency says it has extended a contract to manage a state-owned hospital for the chronically ill in Hagerstown for six months.

The $940,000 contract extension with Meritus Health runs through June 30. The pact would have expired Wednesday.

Meritus also operates the private Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown.

The state first contracted with Meritus on an emergency basis in June after the Western Maryland Hospital Center’s director resigned under pressure amid findings of deficient patient care.

Meritus received $1.1 million in the last six months to manage the center and add three staff members. State officials said in August that care had been stabilized.

The state also agreed in August to pay Timonium-based Mid-Atlantic Health Care up to $2.1 million for consulting services at the center.

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