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Alta Bates Labor & Delivery Billing

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Cost of Labor and Delivery at Alta Bates

Jan 2008

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. Happy Delivery. Wendy


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. Good luck. anon
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 insurance. anon

Three months later, still no bill for L&D

March 2003

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.

Steve


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... anon


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! anon


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 we paid. anonymous
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. anon
I delivered in January and I paid my bill in August Jill
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 *final* bill.

Stephanie


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. anon
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 directly.) Karen


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 had passed.... anon
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 yet... anon
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. LK
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. anon
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.

Julie


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 back!)

Hope this helps people understand the mysteries of medical billing...


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