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Old 06-16-2015, 02:05 PM   #1
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Hospital billing?

We haven't had a hospital birth since #1, and this is #5. Our insurance back then rocked. We paid only $50 out of pocket for that birth. This time we have really wonky insurance. We will pay for EVERYTHING, up to a maximum for me and the baby. It is doubtful we will reach that max with a natural birth. (And I have had 3 completely natural, and 1 mostly natural birth already!)

My friend's dh checked her hospital bill item by item, and found they were charged $35 for a box of Kleenex opened, supposedly! $10 for 1 Tylenol, and $60 for disposable diapers. NUTS!

(I do recall when leaving the hospital with baby #1, a nurse stuffed Kleenex, diapers, and wipes in my bag saying, you paid for it, might as well take it.)

So I am considering taking everything- all my own toiletries, diapers, Kleenexes, herbal after pain meds, etc (midwife is ok with this). I'd rather have my own stuff ANYWAY. I may even bring my own food, since most hospital food is just glorified school cafeteria food anyway. ( I could send dh out for a couple meals, but pack a couple brown bag lunches, too.) I'd rather have an organic salad of my own making than Salisbury steak and canned green beans for double the price....

I will need to stay 24 hours, and possibly up to 48 hours after birth, so I will also need to make a really good list of stuff to take. (Though the hospital is less than 10 minutes from our house.)

Any thoughts from mamas in a similar situation?

I should add that we do have the money to pay for the birth, so it isn't a do or die situation. But another mom I know AT THIS HOSPITAL recently was charged $7 for EVERY PILL of Tylenol she took. She was so mad because she had a bottle in her purse, and had she been informed, she of course would have said no thanks to the nurses and just taken her own. It wasn't a situation where she was told no, you CAN'T take your own meds you MUST take ours. I know they figure your insurance is paying, but in our case, despite HAVING the insurance, such price gouging WILL affect our bill.

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Old 06-16-2015, 02:36 PM   #2
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Re: Hospital billing?

I'd make sure you could bring your own items and then do it.
I ended up having a c section and maxed out my deductible but still had a large bill.
On the itemized breakdown there were charges for semi private room & board, along with every medical item used. (Sutures, the anesthesia, lab work, oral medications.) There were no charges for small items like Kleenex, pads, peri bottle, packages of disposable diapers & wipes.. I'm assuming those were just included in the "room & board".
With insurance they did offer a "contractual discount", but it was still expensive and we had to set up a monthly payment plan.
So anything you can do that will reduce your bill, go for it. Just make sure it will actually affect your billing, so you don't end up bringing your own items, still getting billed for their stuff + disputing the bill.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:01 PM   #3
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Re: Hospital billing?

Is there a reason you don't want to do another home birth, or can't leave the hospital within several hours of the birth?
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Hospital billing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BSWmama View Post
Is there a reason you don't want to do another home birth, or can't leave the hospital within several hours of the birth?
Unfortunately- YES! We live in Nebraska. NOT the best place to spend your childbearing years!!! Homebirth is functionally illegal here. At this time 1 and only 1 midwife will cross the border to catch babies here, and when we interviewed her... it was not a good fit. Plus, she is 3 hours away and my labors are FAST. As in, she might make it to deliver the placenta, but only maybe. SO, we could have an unassisted birth here, legally, but I have bleeding issues and I just wouldn't feel ok with the risk. Plus then the birth certificate issuance is a hassle. Nebraska. Gah. Get me outta here!

My 2 homebirths were in Kansas.

We had 1 at a birth center here, 40 minutes away. I walked over the threshold, called for the midwife, and the baby literally fell out of me into her lunging hands. That birth center is also very understaffed, so we felt like they were saying "don't come in till you are 100% sure you are in labor." Ok, well that's like 30 minutes till dropping my baby!!!

So back to the hospital we go. The CNM we are using is awesome, and we feel really good about her. I doubt we'll be there longer than 1/2 hour till giving birth, so it's not like I'm worried about lots of monitoring or some nurse peddling epidural relief. Dh knows that NO ONE SPEAKS TO ME when I am laboring, and so does the CNM.

I have agreed to staying 24-48 hours because I am refusing to be tested for GBS. This just kind of covers everyone's butts where we are with policies and yadda yadda. It was really hard to find a hcp who would allow this, so I am very willing to compromise to save me and baby a round of super-antibiotics. Plus, with baby #1 I did not mind the hospital stay at all. I don't sleep much anyway after birth, so I don't care if someone takes my vitals every 2 hours, and brings me food like clockwork . I have enough experience with hospitals to know that if you exude a certain- je ne sais quoi- the nurses and staff treat you the way you want to be treated. And I am not above asking for the head nurse if I get a doozy.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:26 PM   #5
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Re: Hospital billing?

Also, I have hemorrhaged 3 of 4 times, and last time the birth center was KICKING us OUT after 6 hours. I was honestly NOT ready to go.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:43 PM   #6
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Re: Hospital billing?

I would ask first- I know my hospital does not allow bringing your own meds... (i am in Nebraska too..)
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:02 PM   #7
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You can refuse almost anything. Here in Utah I was not supposed to bring my own meds, but the nurse told me just not to tell her (it was pretty harmless tums).
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Old 06-16-2015, 08:57 PM   #8
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Re: Hospital billing?

Yes, you can have Tylenol or an unmarked squeeze bottle of herbal medicine in your bag. You just say no thank you to the Tylenol or ibuprofen they offer you, and you take your own when they exit. I did this with homeopathics at my first birth. One of the nurses saw me popping a couple little pellets. She raised her eyebrows, I raised mine... we both laughed. No more said.

I suppose that would be called, "Don't ask; don't tell"?

Of course I wouldn't do this for more serious issues, but for taking the edge off after-birth pains... no way I'm letting them price gouge me for 500 mg of Tylenol.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:40 PM   #9
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Re: Hospital billing?

Yep, we never do anything medical related without getting an itemized bill. It's crazy what they charged. We always joke with people to "NEVER OPEN THE KLEENEX BOX!" lol For me, the main ones I remember was a single Ibuprofen for $5 and an iiiiiity bitttttty tube of Lansinoh was $8. Although even after an epidural birth, we left 12 hours after she came out, so I limited my time to expensive hospital exposure. LOL
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:57 PM   #10
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Re: Hospital billing?

Geez the military is good to us..... We've never paid anything. Everything birth related is completely covered. Make me feel super grateful right now.
No I lied. I was charged for a meal for my last (hospital birth center).
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