March 26, 2006

[Almost] Everybody Loves The Scheduled Inducements

Scheduling a birth, either through inducing labor or through C-section is increasingly popular. Doctors love it because it helps them sleep at night (Pitocin was apparently first used heavily to help OB's avoid the night shift). Pregnant Steelers fans love it because they know they won't miss the game. Hospitals love it because--oh, wait. Hospitals don't love it because it soaks up far more of their resources, whether through extended labor or C-section recovery. And with 20% of births in the US now scheduled, some CPA's might start putting their feet down.

Question: Do insurance companies treat a scheduled--and hence, predictably resource-intensive--delivery differently than a typical surprise one? Is that why hospitals squeal, because they're only getting preset package fees, not reimbursement for actual treatment/resources used? Could a conveniently scheduled delivery become an expensive add-on for which parents pick up the tab?

Birth, Controlled
[nyt mag]


A French friend of mine told me that in France all babies must be born during the week, so they schedule all births and make them happen with pitocin a few days ahead fo the real due date to make sure nobody works on the week end in OB. Maybe he was pulling my leg, but could that French version be a forecast of where this US trend is going? Or was it a really funny (come to think of it) French joke?

[so there are no kids born in August, either? -ed.]

Pitocin sucks. My kid needed an eviction notice. It wasn't something we planned much in advance. As for OBs not wanting the night shift, mine was scheduled for 8pm on a Sunday night, so it started around 10pm. My OB planned it that way because she was going to be "on" overnight. She spent most of her time in c-sections and almost no time with me. Did I mention Pitocin sucks?

We scheduled our c-section and insurance paid the whole tab no questions asked

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