High-Profit Maternity Wards Are Keeping Hospital Doors Open

How much does it cost to have a baby? Enough to keep failing New York City hospitals afloat, according to a new report.

"A couple of years ago, obstetrics services were closing down," said Dr. Robert Kelly, president of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "Everyone was losing a lot, and we were, too."

Now higher insurance payments and the City’s Medicaid program have turned the tables. In addition, there has been a rise in high-risk mothers and fragile newborns, which require more care and in turn more billings, reports Crain’s New York.

"We are seeing a population of women who are older, who tend to have more high-risk deliveries and need more complicated care," said Ms. Sellman.

Maternal obesity is another factor in high-risk pregnancies. In New York City, 40 percent of new mothers were obese and more than half of them were black or Hispanic.

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Ultimately, hospital maternity payments on average increased from $5,600 to $7,400 from 2009 to 2013, respectively. Caesareans, or c-sections, accounted for about one third of New York city births two years ago and the cost has risen to $14,100. From 2009 to 2013, general care for a new baby jumped from $2,100 to $2,800 and premature babies’ care rose from $35,800 to $41,600.

Kids aren't ever cheap, but these costs make you really realize how far a free pack of birth control can go.

Image via Getty.