PHS 795 student Joe Bates came across an article in the New York Times about a particular itemized charge for delivery services. It reminded me of when my son was born. He had an emergency C-section because of complications during delivery and needed to be resuscitated. I remember when we got the bill, there was a charge for about $100 for infant resuscitation. I remember thinking, gosh that’s the best hundred dollars anybody could ever spend. Talk about cost-effective healthcare!
This one raises interesting questions. I suspect this is more the case of a billing department getting a little administratively out of hand. There may or may not be actual additional costs to the healthcare system for providing skin to skin service after C-section, but the reasonable thing would seem to be to incorporate it into the standard of care and have it become part of the overall charge.
This article is in line with our public health discussions on the EpiPen controversy. Additionally, it reminds me of similar stories like the 5,000% spike in the AIDS pill Daraprim or the overcharging of Aspirin in hospitals. Some of you may have seen the news about this particular case, but here is the written product from the NYT. The couple was charged just under $40 for “skin to skin after C-sec” on the hospital bill. The Utah hospital spokeswoman claimed this charge was incurred because an extra nurse was needed in the operating room for safety while the couple held their newborn son. Do people believe the cost of this ‘additional safety’ is warranted? Moreover, from a policy and public health perspective, how are charges like these justified in the health care industry and are there ways to change the current system and culture of overcharging? Thanks for your insight.
How Much Is It Worth to Hold Your Newborn? $40, Apparently
A man posted a bill to Reddit showing that he and his wife were charged $39.35 for holding their son after a C-section.