The quality of care in birth centers reported in the “The National Birth Center Study” reflects the low overall intrapartum and neonatal mortality rate of 1.3/1000 births; 0.7/1000 if lethal anomalies are excluded. These rates are comparable to studies of low risk, in-hospital births.
The cesarean section rate for women receiving care in birth centers averages 4.4%, approximately one half that in studies of low risk, in-hospital births.
Birth centers nationally have consistently displayed charges for care for normal birth that average up to 50% less than regular hospital stays and 30% less than short stays – including practitioner fees.
More than half of birth centers include routine laboratory exams, childbirth education, home visits, extra office visits, and initial newborn examinations in their charges.
Most major health insurers contract with birth centers for reimbursement. Because charges reflect cost and since the birth center is a single service unit, there is no opportunity for cost shifting or operating the birth center as a “loss leader’ to other services.
98.8 percent of women using the birth center would recommend it to friends and/or return to the center for a subsequent birth