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Cost Containment

How do Birth Centers Contain Costs?

  • By retaining autonomy (control) over birth center operations and programs regardless of ownership (some hospitals own freestanding birth centers).
  • By providing "high touch" rather than "high tech" care, birth centers minimize the overuse of technology.
  • By providing a program of primary care that emphasizes education, wellness, prevention, self-help and self-reliance in family health maintenance.
  • By using staff efficiently; staff are only in-house when a mother is in-house. Since birth centers do not compete with emergency services or hospital acute care, levels of staff are used efficiently and appropriately.
  • By sharing responsibility with the childbearing family for health and prevention of illness.
  • By using existing community services when available (instead of creating costly duplication) for transport services, social services, medical consultation, laboratories, etc.
  • By using established policies and procedures for the screening and transfer of women with problems to acute care services.
  • By using low-cost construction that meets safety codes.


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