Alta Bates Labor & Delivery Billing
Berkeley Parents Network >
Health & Medical >
Alta Bates Labor & Delivery Billing
Has anyone had a natural birth at Alta Bates in the last year or so and knows about
how much it does cost to have you baby delivered at the facility? I currently have
Blue Cross PPO 2,500 and know that I have to pay $ 2,500 out of pocket in January,
when I'm scheduled to deliver. Also have heard that there are obgyn fees,
anesthesiologist fees, hopital fees, etc.Thank you.
My son was born ab ABMC naturally. The *retail* bill was about 40K with
all services included. The *real* bill was the price our insurance
(Cigna HMO) had negotiated with the Hospital. That was $8500. We paid
$800 out of pocket.
My son spent 24 hours in the NICU. All of those costs were covered
without a copay, despite being billed from several different entities.
Wait for the negotiated rate bills before you pay anything and ask your
insurance company about their negotiated rates for hospital delivery.
Epidural, complications or no, it's likely to be the same figure it
it's a vaginal birth.
Your birth will likely cost you exactly $2500. That's my guess.
Can't say exactly but I also had a high deductible with Blue Shield -
you will probably end up paying the full $2500 - the bill and the rate
your insurance negotiates are very different - but its unlikely that it
would be much less than $2500 (my bill was $17K - the insurance settled
for about $2k). The good news is Alta bates gave me a very big discount
for paying on time(about $600) - I didn't even ask for it. So its hard
to get to these things when you have a newborn but call them as soon as
you get that bill and inquire about early payment discounts.
I know this is longer ago than you asked for.. but my son was born at
Alta Bates in Sept 2004. The bill they sent us totaled just under
$20,000. I was in the labor room for less than 8 hours, and stayed in
the hospital two nights. I had no epidural/drugs, pitocin, etc.
A Certified Nurse Midwife delivered my 2nd baby in May 2007. No epidural
and no other medical intervention. $25,036 for staying 2 nights. $9k for
OB, $7k for delivery room, $4k for labor and delivery and lots of smaller
fees like clinic, lab, rx.
Good luck with your pregnancy!
mom of 2
In December, I labored at Alta Bates for 18 hours with no
meds, was charged $900/hr for L&D, plus $2K for various other
stuff and $4200/day for room afterward. Ended up with
C-section so other charges brought bill up to $43K billed to
It's been almost 3 1/2 months since I delievered my baby at Alta
Bates. How long does it take them to send me the hospital bill??
I'm very curious on the cost, but then again it's been nice not
to have to pay right away.
Alta Bates will likely send you a bill about four months after
your baby's birth. Once you get it in the mail, you will also
likely get a call from their collections department within a
day or two rather rudely saying ''where is our money?'' To which
you should say, I will pay the bill within 30 days which is
standard practice, and if you are so anxious to get paid, you
should send your bill and the implication that you need to call
me as if I am deadbeat is very annoying.'' This is the
experience of at least two people I know of recently having
babies at Alta Bates.
I just received my bill last week and my baby was born in June.
I know people who have waited longer. I even know people who
have called to get their bill and couldn't.
I would just tuck some money aside (whatever your co-pay is +
any extras such as private room.) and forget about it. My
experience is their billing is very S L O W...
It took 8 1/2 months for me to get my Alta Bates bill. First
they secured payment from the insurance company and only then
they billed me for the rest (my single room).
It's also taking FOREVER to get Alta Bates to send me a receipt.
I've asked for it almost 2 months ago (and have called many
times) and they still haven't send it!
It took Alta Bates 11 1/2 months to bill us for our private room
(Jan,2002 until December, 2002). We didn't pay right away after
we got the bill, just to see if they'd be similarly lax on
follow-up. No such luck. Lots of phone calls, more bills, so
It's been 8 1/2 months for us and still no bill. We're thinking
that maybe since it wasn't crowded, we didn't get charged for
the private room and insurance covered it all--either that or
thay're just way slow to get the bill out to us.
I delivered in January and I paid my bill in August
Not sure if I'm typical, but I believe it took about 8 months to
get the initial Alta Bates billing and then, amazingly enough,
13 months before I got a final bill. I was a bit frustrated
about the bill that arrived when my son was 13 months, as I had
been under the impression that we were all paid up. So, once you
do get a bill, you might want to confirm with them that it's the
I delivered my now 9 1/2 month old daughter at Alta Bates at the
end of last May and just received the bill at the beginning of
February. So in essence it took 8 months to get the bill, which
I sense is not unusual. Just a tip, look over the bill carefully
and question things that look funny. I did this and through
questioning some items, ended up shaving 30% off the total!
Also, you will probably get an invoice stating the amount you
owe without any corresponding detail. This happened to me and so
I requested a detailed summary of charges which they were happy
to supply. During the time that we were going back and forth
about the charges, they were very professional and did not code
my bill as past due.
Alta Bates billing is a disaster. After the birth of our son a
year and a half ago, we started receiving bills in about a month,
which we then forwarded to our insurance company. The bills kept
coming. The bills were not itemized, so there was no way to know
if we had already paid for the services on a bill. My husband
had many conversations with them trying to straighten this out.
Finally after about a year, my husband told them he would not pay
or respond to any bills which were 1) not itemized and 2) did not
explicitly state that this was the final bill - total we owed for
my son's birth. (We thought that one year was enough for them to
calculate a total.) These conditions were never met. We ignored
bills for a while after this, and billing has now ceased. We had
health insurance that fully covered the birth.
On the positive side, my daughter was born 3 1/2 years ago also
at Alta Bates. We haven't received a bill yet ;-) (Her birth
was also covered by insurance, so maybe the insurance was billed
I think it was 7 months before we got our Alta Bates bill.
Pretty ridiculous, huh?
My daughter is 18 mos. old and I still haven't received a bill! I
have even spoken to them over the phone about it. I figure until
I get one, I don't have to pay it....and I haven't received a
collection notice that says that they have sent one either. I
know some other mom's who didn't get one until at least a year
I have Kaiser insurance and gave birth 2 months ago. Alta Bates
just sent me a statement saying Kaiser had paid them $17,377. I
was shocked at the cost. I had a vaginal delivery with an
epidural and stayed 2 days in a pvt room. The pvt room cost us
an extra $600 out of pocket and I have not received that bill
About 10 months after the birth of my baby, when I had almost forgotten
that I would owe Alta Bates $2000.00, they called and said that I still owed
them money for the delivery. I said, ''I'd be happy to pay, if you'd send a
bill.'' They were very polite, but I thought it was annoying that they'd call
before they even billed me. They sent the bill and we paid. You can pay by
credit card, fyi. I had a emergency c-section, and the total bill was over
$20,000, of which we owed 10 percent.
We have not been billed for our private room at Alta Bates and
my son is now 21 months old. I don't know if this is true, but
I heard that they have to bill you within a year or you don't
have to pay.
I just want to give a word of warning about the medical billing
in general. We were never billed for an ambulance ride my
daughter required. At the time, we lived in Fairfield, which
contracted with various service providers to provide ambulance
service. I assumed that there had been a miracle and our
insurance had taken care of it. To make a long story short,
Medic-Ambulance sent both my bill and the bill to the insurance
to the wrong address. About four months later, they turned us
in to a collection agency for collections. The collection
agency made no effort to find us and went ahead and reported us
to the credit reporting agencies. The first we knew of it was
three years later when applying for a home loan. The lesson is,
don't assume that because you weren't billed you aren't
responsible for the bill, the law says that in many cases you
are. Also, don't count on being contacted by the collection
agency if it goes to collections. Finally, keep a very close
eye on your credit reports (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax)
to make sure there are no mistakes on them. We are still trying
to get it off of our Experian credit report.
I worked briefly in the Alta Bates billing department, and
thought I would share what I discovered about the procedures.
Basically, the hospital first bills any insurance company. The
insurance company reviews it, and if there is any little thing
wrong they send a letter stating the error and won't pay
anything until it is fixed. By the time the hospital gets the
letter, or checks again to see why the insurance company hasn't
paid, fixes the bill, and sends it back, it can be quite a while
later. It might go through repeated rounds of this process. The
hospital may have sent it to a collection agency in the meantime
to have them deal with the insurance billing, so they will be
the ones the insurance company will deal with and you will deal
with if you call about your bill. If you have a secondary
insurance, then they have to go through this same process with
that insurance company.
The patient will usually not be billed until the insurance
company pays (or doesn't) and sends the hospital an explanation
of benefits saying how much the patient is liable for. If you
don't want to remind Alta Bates about your bill, you might try
contacting your insurance company to see if they can give you
any information or send you an explanation of benefits telling
you how much you will probably owe. This was what surprised me
most, that it is the insurance company who tells the hospital
how much they are allowed to bill you for.
Once you get your bill from Alta Bates, you can usually call the
billing department to set up a payment plan, or to see if there
is any way they can reduce the amount. Sometimes they will give
you a reduced amount if you agree to pay in full right then. Or
if you feel you are being overbilled, ask them to send you the
itemized statement and the explanation of benefits from the
insurance company. Then you can send them a letter, or let the
insurance company know and they will deal with it (if there is a
mistake, they will be very aggressive in getting their money
Hope this helps people understand the mysteries of medical
this page was last updated: Dec 26, 2011
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network