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The Willy-Nilly Costs of Hospital Births: Where Is the Oversight?

The Willy-Nilly Costs of Hospital Births

I know health care costs are totally ridiculous across the board. I think it’s outrageous that a hospital will charge you for a tissue. Or that my bill for fertility treatments is well over $30,000 — and growing.

But I was floored when I came across a recent article on Bloomberg about the totally random and inexplicable costs of hospital births. The cost of giving birth at any given hospital can vary by $10,000.

$10,000. For reasons even the experts can’t figure out.

Sure, I get it. Medical procedures are expensive. Yes, c-sections are going to cost more than vaginal births. But why, even within these categories, is one women paying $3,296 and another paying $37,277 (vaginal), and it costs anywhere from $8,312 and $70,908 for a c-section?

The study shows that neither institutional factors nor market factors are responsible for more than 35% of the difference. So, basically, “hospitals can charge what they want.” Those aren’t my words; that’s what the lead author of the study says. She’s currently among numerous health advocates who are calling for more transparency for hospital pricing.

And I say, Good for them.

Want to hear from real moms who shared the costs of their births? Check out this great article from BabyZone, 7 Moms Answer the Question: How Much Did Your Birth Cost?

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Read the story from the source: Bloomberg
Photo credit: cckaiser via Flickr Creative Commons

Read more of Aela’s writing on Babble and at Two Moms Make a Right.

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