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New Report Indicates Medicalization Increases Childbirth Costs

A newly released study from a team of organizations suggests high-tech birthing procedures including cesarean sections have led to an unnecessary increase in hospital charges. The report (see PDF), released by Childbirth Connection, Reforming States Group, and the Milbank Memorial Foundation, details how birthing costs are increasing by billions of dollars annually.

The report states, “many maternity practices that were originally developed to address specific problems have come to be used liberally and even routinely in healthy women. Examples include labor induction, epidural analgesia, and cesarean section. These interventions are [both] often used without consideration of alternatives [and] greatly increase costs.”

Maureen Corry, co-author of Childbirth Connection’s told USA Today that “everybody recognizes that our health care system’s in trouble…but when it comes to maternity care, no one talks about it.”

Sources:

USA Today 10/8/08; UPI Science News 10/8/08; Childbirth Connection

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