Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Costs of an epidural
There is a great article about the cost of birth recently in
Wall Street Journal
ANNA WILDE MATHEWS writes:
Those charges I could decipher seemed stunningly high. A "Tray, Anes Epidural" cost $530.29. (After inquiring, I learned this was the tray of sterile equipment used to give me an epidural anesthetic injection.) An "Anes-cat 1-basic Outlying Area" was billed at $2,152.55. (I was told this was the cost of the hospital's resources related to the epidural.) These items were in addition to the separate anesthesiologist's charge of $1,530 for giving the epidural. Even though the pain-killing epidural shot felt priceless during my 20 hours of labor, I was amazed that its total cost could run so high.
When I am named "queen of the insurance companies" - I would mandate that all women who hire a doula and don't use an epidural get reimbursed for their fees. Actually I would mandate reimbursement for all doulas regardless of her epidural usage. But I find it incredulous that doula support is not routinely reimbursed. But yet $4212.04 is never questioned.
Do you cover the cost of healthcare/birth in your childbirth class? My friend Ann Tumblin has the bill from her birth a couple decades ago. I think it was less than the epidural tray in the WSJ journal article! At some point I hope pregnant women find a louder voice to lobby their insurance companies to cover doula care. Plant the seeds in your childbirth class - most of the people in your class will have a second baby.