Rising malpractice costs and poor reimbursement are reasons why this natural birth home is shutting down
“A 94-year-old house on Railroad Avenue where hundreds of mothers gave birth without the use of pain-killing drugs is closing its doors.
Since founding The Birth Home in 1997, midwife Beah Haber and Dr. Michael Bleecker have helped bring 450 babies into the world. Most of those births took place at the historic Larkin Locke house in downtown Pleasanton, using natural childbirth techniques. At The Birth Home and at similar natural child birth centers throughout the country, less than 5 percent of births involve cesarean sections, compared with about one in every four births in U.S. hospitals . . .
. . . Like other medical care providers, birth centers are struggling with rising malpractice insurance costs, Bauer said. For a time, Bleecker’s malpractice coverage would not allow him to attend to patients at The Birth Home, he said.
But, more importantly, Bleecker said, many insurance companies aren’t willing to reimburse patients who want to use a birth center instead of a hospital Ã‚Â— even though birth centers can be cheaper.”