Hospitals Charge Wildly Varying Rates for Childbirth

Depending on the hospital, a California woman could be charged $3,296 to $37,227 for a vaginal delivery, and $8,312 to $70,908 for a caesarean section, according to a study by BMJ Group. Hospitals in markets with middling competition had significantly lower adjusted charges for vaginal deliveries. Hospitals with higher adjusted charges are for-profit hospitals as well as those with higher wage indices and case mixes. Hospitals in markets with higher uninsurance rates charged significantly less for caesarean sections while for-profit hospitals and hospitals with higher wage indices charged more. However, the institutional and market-level factors included explained only 35% to 36% of the between-hospital variation in charges. For more information, visit

Last Updated 01/19/2022

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