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May
12

The Price of Childbirth Can be Twice as High Even in the Same Hospital

According to HCCI's data, the price of a hospital admission for childbirth among birthing people with employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) varies by a factor of three across hospitals within a local area. Even within the same hospital and within the same type of delivery, some births cost twice as much as others. Different prices for the same service in the same hospital with the same type of...

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May
12

From Prenatal through Postpartum Care, it Cost More Than $24,000 to Have a Baby on Average

Total Spending Averaged $24,336 across the Prenatal, Childbirth, and Postpartum Periods among ESI Enrollees HCCI has highlighted the high cost of childbirth in the United States, but delivery is only one component of the full financial cost of having a baby. The cost of prenatal and postpartum care may cause people to forgo appropriate services, even as this care could help improve maternal health...

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Jun
09

One-Third of Births Occurred by C-Section in ESI and Medicaid in 2020

Caesarean sections (c-sections) are often life-saving procedures that can prevent injury and death among birthing people and newborns. At the same time, when they are not medically necessary, c-sections may have higher risks to babies and birthing people than vaginal births. Monitoring rates of c-sections among birthing people is an important component of efforts to improve the quality of mat...

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Jun
09

Average Payments for Childbirth Among the Commercially Insured and Fee-for-Service Medicaid

It is well-established that the rates hospitals and physicians are paid to provide health care services are significantly lower in Medicaid than in private health insurance. In this brief, we provide new data on this payment gap in the context of childbirth, an especially relevant area of care since Medicaid and ESI together cover the vast majority of births in the United States. We used HCCI's un...

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May
10

The Price of Childbirth in the U.S. Tops $13,000 in 2020

As HCCI has previously documented, the price of childbirth in the U.S. is higher than in many other countries. When prices are high, patients with health insurance pay directly through coinsurance (i.e., cost-sharing calculated as a percent of what their insurer pays for the service) and over time, as higher prices charged to insurers are passed along to individuals through higher premiums. We exa...

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May
10

Birthing People in the U.S. Pay Nearly $2,000 Out-of-Pocket to Have a Baby

The birth of a child is momentous for any person and family. New parents may face a range of challenges, including a lack of paid family leave, the rising costs of childcare, and potential health-related complications for the birthing person and new baby. In the midst of this major life transition, parents also face new financial burdens. A major cost – even among those with health insurance – is ...

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May
10

As COVID-19 Hit, Birthing People Spent Less Time in the Hospital for Delivery

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Americans in a myriad of ways, including their use of the health care system for both COVID- and non-COVID related services. In this brief, we explore the ways in which the first year of the pandemic affected people for one of the most common hospital services – childbirth. In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, more than 3.6 million babies were born in the Uni...

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Mar
15

Modern Healthcare: Insurer-provider wrangling limits bundled maternity growth

HCCI's research on childbirth spending among the commercially-insured was featured in Modern Healthcare.  From the article: "Childbirth admissions averaged $13,811 for people with employer-sponsored insurance in 2016 and 2017, ranging from $8,361 in Arkansas up to $20,000 in New York, according to the Health Care Cost Institute."  Insurer-provider wrangling limits bundled maternity growt...

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May
11

NYS Health Foundation: Variation in Health Care Prices: The Problem Starts at Birth

Summary The price of childbirth in New York City varies multifold, depending on where a woman delivers. This variation in price across boroughs, and across providers within boroughs, might make sense if it corresponded to higher-quality care. But higher prices do not always signify better quality. This report examines variation in what is paid for childbirth in each of the five boroughs of New Yor...

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May
13

Use of Prenatal Care Varies among People with Employer-Sponsored Insurance

Prenatal care leads to healthier pregnancy, healthier pregnant people, and healthier babies. In fact, birthing parents who receive prenatal care are three times less likely to deliver low birthweight babies, and the baby is five times more likely to survive delivery. To explore the kind of prenatal care pregnant people receive, we looked at utilization of two prototypical prenatal services – labor...

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May
13

Understanding Variation in Spending on Childbirth Among the Commercially Insured

Childbirth is the most frequent reason for an inpatient admission in the United States, and Cesarean-section (C-section) is the most common operating room procedure in an inpatient hospital stay. Among people who get insurance through an employer, the combination of labor, delivery, and newborn care makes up nearly one in six dollars spent on inpatient care. Childbirth accounts for an estimated fo...

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May
13

Most Postpartum Spending Occurs Beyond 60 Days After Delivery

The postpartum period is a vulnerable time for both birthing parent and newborn and is critically important to their health and well-being. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends ongoing, comprehensive care, including physical, social, and psychological services, during the postpartum period. In large part because of an increasing maternal mortalit...

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Sep
25

U.S. News & World Report: The C-Section Capital of America

Research from HCCI's Healthy Marketplace Index on variation in service prices was featured in a report on c-sections from U.S. News & World Report. From the article:  "Exactly why doctors continue to perform cesareans for low-risk deliveries is a layered issue that appears more closely tied to system-level breakdowns than to individual physicians. For example, researchers have t...

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Sep
20

NPR: A New Way Of Paying For Maternity Care Aims To Reduce C-Sections

HCCI data on the cost of childbirth was mentioned in a report by NPR. From the article: "C-sections also cost more than vaginal deliveries. In the Denver area, for instance, the average vaginal delivery costs $7,716 while the average C-section costs $14,274, according to 2019 data from the Health Care Cost Institute. On average, commercial and Medicaid insurers pay 50% more for C-sections tha...

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May
31

HCCI will be presenting at AcademyHealth's 2019 Annual Research Meeting

The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) is proud to present five posters at the AcademyHealth 2019 Annual Research Meeting in Washington, D.C. These posters, which cover HCCI research on a wide variety of topics, focus on health care spending and utilization trends among the commercially insured population. If you are attending the conference, please check out the schedule below to meet our staff an...

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Feb
27

BMC Public Health: Area-Level Deprivation and Preterm Birth: Results from a National, Commercially-Insured Population

Abstract Background: Area-level deprivation is associated with multiple adverse birth outcomes. Few studies have examined the mediating pathways through which area-level deprivation affects these outcomes. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between area-level deprivation and preterm birth, and examine the mediating effects of maternal medical, behavioural, and psyc...

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Sep
01

Women's Health Issues: Maternal Medical Complexity Impact on Prenatal Health Care Spending among Women at Low Risk for Cesarean Section

ABSTRACT Background: Obstetric procedures are among the most expensive health care services, yet relatively little is known about health care spending among pregnant women, particularly the commercially-insured. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the association between maternal medical complexity, as a result of having one or more comorbid conditions, and health care spending d...

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May
04

Academic Emergency Medicine: Association Between Maternal Comorbidities and Emergency Department Use Among a National Sample of Commercially Insured Pregnant Women

ABSTRACT Objectives: Evidence suggests that, despite routine engagement with the health system, pregnant women commonly seek emergency care. The objectives of this study were to examine the association between maternal comorbidities and emergency department (ED) use among a national sample of commercially insured pregnant women. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using multipayer m...

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