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Report Finds Wide Variation in Prices for Childbirth Across and Within NYC Boroughs

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A new NYS Health Foundation report examines variation in what is paid for childbirth in each of the five boroughs of New York City. Childbirths are a primary component of health care utilization and spending for the population under the age of 65 covered by private insurance.

This analysis used data from nearly 10,000 vaginal and cesarean deliveries in 2017 in New York City that are in the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) commercial claims database, which represents people covered by employer-sponsored health insurance networks. The prices analyzed represent the sum of what both the insurance company and the consumer paid for childbirth hospitalizations, including services provided by physicians and other professionals during the hospital stay.

The report found wide variation in prices for childbirth across New York City boroughs. In 2017, there was a 30% difference in median prices for vaginal deliveries between Brooklyn ($12,718) and the Bronx ($16,632). Substantial variation also exists even within boroughs, with the highest-priced deliveries costing more than 13 times the lowest-priced deliveries within each borough.

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