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Baby Birth Costs Vary 10-Fold in Hospitals, Study Finds

The cost of giving birth at a hospital can vary by tens of thousands of dollars, a price range that is “largely random” and unexplainable by market factors, a California study found.

Charges for a non-complicated vaginal delivery in the most populated U.S. state ranged from $3,296 to $37,277, and $8,312 to $70,908 for a non-complicated cesarean section, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco. Institutional and market factors could only explain 35 percent to 36 percent of the variation in charges, according to the study, released online today in the medical journal BMJ Open.