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Cost to have a baby? Big variation among hospitals

In 2011, the charge for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery in California ranged from a low of $3296 to a high of $37,227 — a ten-fold difference.  Same thing for uncomplicated cesarean sections — a range from $8,312 on the low end to $70,908 on the high end.  This was a study of over 100,000 deliveries in California only and just for the year 2011.  The researchers were not able to ascertain a clear pattern in either patient or hospital characteristics to explain more than about one-third of the variation in charges.  They note that hospitals offered discounted prices averaging 37 percent of charges.

Source: Hsia, R.Y., Antwi, Y.A., and Weber, E.  Analysis of variation in charges and prices paid for vaginal and caesarean section births: a cross-sectional study.  BMJ Open;4:1-10, 2014.  Click here to access this article: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/1/e004017.full.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

 

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