The Post-Gazette recently wrote that maternity care costs should be reduced. One of the innovators is Magee Hospital. From that article:“About one-fourth of deliveries are now electively induced before the baby has reached full term (39 weeks). Yet research has shown that even babies born a few days too early are more likely to have problems such as developmental delays. Moreover, labor inductions before 39 weeks are more likely to result in expensive and risky C-sections, and the baby is more likely to spend time in an expensive neonatal intensive care unit. These unfortunate trends can be reversed. For example, a team of physicians and nurses at Pittsburgh’s Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC, using “Perfecting Patient Care” training they received from the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, reduced the rate of early elective inductions by 64 percent and reduced the frequency of C-sections in elective inductions by 60 percent. They won the Fine Award from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation in recognition of their cutting-edge work.”
They won for their cutting-edge work of reducing the number of surgical births, ironic indeed, but good. Another way to reduce costs is to have more doulas at births. Studies have shown over and over again that doulas reduce the percentage of interventions such as cesareans, epidurals, pitocin and instrument assisted births. Doulas are a great cost-cutter and if insurance paid for doulas, they would be overall reducing maternity care costs by a large margin.