The following charts present data about average facility charges for labor and birth in individual states. Average charges are provided for four birth outcomes: uncomplicated vaginal birth, complicated vaginal birth, uncomplicated cesarean, and complicated cesarean. Data are only available for states that participate in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, a voluntary program administered by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Where available, data on birth center charges for uncomplicated vaginal birth are also presented. These charts demonstrate significant variation across sites, birth methods, and states, summarized in the companion: Quick Facts.
Arizona • Arkansas • California* • Colorado • Florida • Hawaii • Illinois* • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts* • Michigan • Minnesota* • Missouri • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • Oklahoma • Oregon • Rhode Island • South Carolina • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming
View national average charges for the United States.
View multi-state charges comparisons.
*For detailed 2010 data for California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Minnesota on charges and actual maternal care payments made by employer-sponsored private insurance, see Table 7 and Tables 24 through 33 in The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States.
Thirty-four states have submitted hospital charges data to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). This information summarizes data shown in our above charts.
- Maryland hospitals charged the least for all methods of birth. Compared with the average across all reporting states, Maryland hospitals charged $3,000-$4,500 less for vaginal births, and $7,500-$10,500 less for cesarean births.
- The only two states to see decreases in charges for cesarean births from 2009 to 2010 were Wyoming and New Mexico. Charges for uncomplicated cesarean birth fell by 12% in Wyoming and by 2% in New Mexico. Complicated cesarean birth charges decreased by 13% in Wyoming and by 6% in New Mexico. While no states saw a decrease in uncomplicated vaginal birth charges, Wyoming hospitals had the smallest increase – less than 1%.
- Other states with consistently low charges were West Virginia, Utah, and Vermont.
- New Jersey hospitals charged the most for complicated and uncomplicated vaginal births and uncomplicated cesarean births, approximately $10,000-$13,000 above the average across all reporting states. Although New Jersey hospitals did not charge the most for complicated cesarean births, charges were still $17,000 more than average.
- California hospitals had the highest charge for complicated cesarean births. For the other birth methods, California hospital charges saw the largest absolute increase since 2009.
- Other states with consistently high charges were Florida, Rhode Island and Nevada.
Charges Continue to Rise
Charges for uncomplicated vaginal births grew by 7% since 2009, with an average increase of $572. Charges in New York demonstrated the largest percentage increase, growing by 10%. Nevada and Texas also experienced the large percentage increases.
Charges for complicated vaginal births grew by 7% since 2009, with an average increase of $727. Charges in Hawaii demonstrated the largest percentage increase, growing by 13%. Kansas, Wyoming and New York also experienced large percentage increases.
Charges for uncomplicated cesarean births grew by 6% since 2009, with an average increase of $865. Texas showed the largest percentage growth with charges increasing by 10%. Arkansas and New York also experienced large percentage increases.
Charges for complicated cesarean births grew by 5% since 2009, with an average increase of $972. Texas again showed the largest percentage growth with charges increasing by 11%. The largest absolute increase in charge was in Colorado, which, along with Kansas, also experienced large percentage increases.
Comparing complicated and uncomplicated births
Charges for complicated vaginal births were $2,854 (32%) higher than charges for vaginal births without complications. Charges for complicated cesarean births were $5,439 (36%) higher than charges for cesarean births without complications.
For both cesarean and vaginal births, differences in charges for complicated deliveries were:
- The least pronounced in Arkansas. Charges for complicated deliveries in Arkansas were no more than 15% higher than charges for uncomplicated deliveries. Arkansas hospitals also saw the smallest absolute difference between complicated delivery charges and uncomplicated delivery charges. Only in Arkansas was the difference between complicated and uncomplicated cesarean birth chargers under $2,000.
- The absolute largest in California. Only in California hospitals was the difference between complicated and uncomplicated delivery charges greater than $6,000 for vaginal births and $10,000 for cesarean births.
- The highest proportionally in Rhode Island. Rhode Island is second to California in having the largest absolute difference between uncomplicated and complicated birth charges, but proportionally the differences in Rhode Island are larger. In only four states were hospital charges for complicated cesareans more than 50% higher than charges for uncomplicated cesareans, with Rhode Island leading at 52%. Only Rhode Island hospitals charged more than 45% more for complicated vaginal births compared with vaginal births with no complications.
- The least pronounced in Maryland. In Maryland, hospitals charged only 34% more for complicated cesarean births and 23% more for uncomplicated cesarean births, in comparison to vaginal births with and without complications. Only in Maryland was the difference in charges between vaginal and cesarean births under $2,000.
- The absolute largest in California. The difference between charges for uncomplicated cesarean and vaginal births exceeded $10,000 only in California hospitals. For complicated births, the difference increases to over $15,000.
- The highest proportionally in Nebraska. Nebraska is the only state where hospital charges for cesarean births are more than twice the charges for vaginal births.
Data Source: U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUPnet, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Rockville, MD: AHRQ. Available at: http://hcupnet.ahrq.gov/