Thursday, December 28, 2006

Independent Birth Center Saves DC $800,000 Annually

The only independent birthing center in the District of Columbia saves the city's health care system an estimated $800,000 per year:
The not-for-profit Family Health and Birth Center, housed in a former supermarket and located in a low-income area of the District, provides gynecological and obstetrical services, as well as parenting advice to women and general health services to children, the Post reports. An increasing number of women are giving birth in the center's birthing rooms, while other women give birth at Washington Hospital Center accompanied by one of the center's seven on-staff midwifes, the Post reports. Preliminary data for 2006 indicate that the center might have delivered a "record number" of infants -- more the 153 last year, as well as the highest percentage ever delivered outside the hospital -- the Post reports. Of infants delivered through the center through mid-October, less than 5% were delivered before 37 weeks' gestation, 2% were considered low birthweight and 7% were delivered through c-sections. Citywide rates for those measures are in the double digits, according to the Post. According to an analysis conducted by Lubic based on an estimate in a recent Institute of Medicine report, the center saves $567,000 annually by reducing the number of preterm deliveries. Using the same formula, Lubic calculated that the center saves almost $285,000 in c-section costs.

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