Can you bring your own "supplies" to the hospital to save $? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-26-2003, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I keep hearing horror stories about people being charged insane amounts of $ for things that they are "given" by the hospital before/after delivery. I've heard $20 for a box of Kleenex, $22 per Midol, $30 for a peri bottle, etc.

It got me thinking, 1) Do insurance companies just pay these crazy prices without question? 2) Should I just go with the flow in the hospital and figure that my 10% cost won't be significant enough to try to bring my own items? 3) Should I bring my own supplies figuring that it will save me a lot overall? (There are birth supply websites that sell peri bottles (50 cents), sitz baths ($5), mesh panties ($1.40), etc.)

Has anybody brought their own supplies in an effort to keep delivery costs down? How did it work for you (the cynic in me says that even if I bring my own, the hospital will just charge me anyway - sort of a "charge reflex").

I appreciate any thoughts/advice.

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#2 of 11 Old 01-26-2003, 10:25 PM
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well, you can always demand an itemized list of charges and dispute whatever you didn't actually use.
personally, the military was footing my bill, so i took everything i was allowed to and used everything they had. my 800mg motrins were something crazy like $5 or $10 each!
i'd ask a nurse, maybe when you go on your "tour" you could bring it up.
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#3 of 11 Old 01-26-2003, 10:37 PM
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I am a nurse and in my hospital, we don't charge patients for things like kleenex and gauze pads, etc. Things like IV sets, a whole BOX of sterile pads maybe, or particular things like say if you had a funky incision and there were lots of dressing changes, maybe we would charge for the bottle of saline and the box full of gloves, but not individual pads, peri bottles, etc. Actually, the care packs for each patient (a basin, with soaps etc, and peripads, etc etc is not charged either).
Things like bedpans, they are not charged to the patient, at least wehre I worked. Every hospital is different. Like the above poster said, check on your hospital tour. But things like prescription drugs usualyl ahve to be dispensed via the pharmacy.

I am not making any sense so I'm going away now LOL I'm 38 weeks preggo and not making much of anything nowadays LOL
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#4 of 11 Old 01-27-2003, 12:50 AM
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You can BUY those mesh panties somewhere? WHERE!?

I might be the only person I know who loves those stupid things. I also like the jumbo-jet sized pads my hospital provides. I asked for extras last time. I'm a little nutty. (TIP: If you're going to ask for extras, just ask for extras. If you hide half a pkg and say you're out, they FLIP and think you're bleeding to death. Oops.)

I'm not certain, but I think at "my" (like I own it now. ha) hospital, moms get certain stuff as part of the stay...the water bottle, peri bottle, pads, small bag for baby...that kind of stuff. I don't think they itemize. At least not in OB.
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#5 of 11 Old 01-27-2003, 01:31 AM
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As far as I know, you'll get charged a lump sum no matter what you use, but like the others said you could ask for an itemized bill and dispute certain items, but that would probably be a big headache. The hospitals I've worked for do not charge per item, except for those things already mentioned (something out of the norm, medications). Actually, one of them did, and they had an option where women without insurance could stay a shorter amount of time and bring their own supplies, but that was a long time ago, before "drive-thru" deliveries were outlawed and before managed care.

I'm planning to bring my own things, but that's mostly because I want to use my own wipes, diapers, etc. and not their icky Pampers and perfumed wipes. I also plan to go in late and leave early, and won't ask for any meds. If I need something for pain I'll take some Tylenol from my purse. Of course I won't tell them that, and as a nurse I could never advise anyone to do that. :

The things the hospital I currently work at charges for are vaginal or Cesarean delivery, labor epidurals, or anesthesia for a C-section, IV pumps, epidural pumps, blood pressure monitors, ultrasound, labor hours (so you get charged more if you are there longer), circumcisions, hearing screens, bloodwork, and stuff like that. And of course, the pharmacy has their own set of charges. The cost is so outrageous because you are paying for the dispensing of the medication. We don't charge individually for stuff like tissues, pads, underwear, peri-bottles, diapers, wipes, and so on.

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#6 of 11 Old 01-27-2003, 05:35 PM
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I haven't seen the bill yet from ds's birth, but we did like the unpurfumed, chemical-free, dry wipes they used for diaper changes (with warm water) and asked where to buy them. they said the local hospital supply store.

chellemarie, when dh went to get them, he mentioned they had all the things, like the mesh panties, large pads, etc. too. you might check for a similar store in your area.

too bad the wipes are $0.10/each (box of 30 is ~ $3). we just wanted them for the diaper bag/long trips, when it would be hard to bring enough cloth ones.

-debbie )O( wife to J., mom to P. (12/21), L. (4/30)

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#7 of 11 Old 01-27-2003, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for the heads-up, Cybele. Unfortunately, the nearest store of that nature would be at least an hour's drive away and I'm due Thursday and having some serious back pain today.

I'll just ask for extras and pay for them. *L* I'm spoiled.

And I liked those dry wipes a lot, too. I was bummed when they ran out.
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#8 of 11 Old 01-27-2003, 09:42 PM
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For me I had a co-pay so it didn't matter what I had or didn't. But when I saw the bill there was a standard 2 day charge, and a delivery by midwife charge, I had a complication free delivery. A friend at the same hospital, had all the interventions, she had the same co-pay however her bill was full of stuff.

I think things like peri bottles and pads are just part of delivery, oh our even gave everyone a bottle of lanisal.

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#9 of 11 Old 01-27-2003, 09:49 PM
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I love those mesh panties also
I have a couple of pairs from my first dd birth and have found they wash up nicely and thus are reusable.

Someday when I am in a bigger area I will have to look for a hospital supply store and get some. LOL

Glad to know someone else likes them also!
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#10 of 11 Old 01-28-2003, 11:58 AM
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It depends on your hospital. You really have to talk to someone there. The local hospital where I birthed two years ago just gave me a bunch of supplies (everything I needed) and it was charged as a package. However, they have just changed their policy to save money. Parents are told to bring in their own supply of diapers, pads, etc. You can purchase them from the hospital individually, probably for an absurd amount. So although it seems that charging a package price and giving you the supplies is "standard", you really have to check with your individual hospital.

As a side note, our hospital changed their policy because they are losing so much money. They are a very "breast friendly" hospital and because they won't give out samples of formula to parents, the formula companies aren't financially backing them. So I support whatever they have to do to cut costs rather than give in to the big bucks of formula companies.
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#11 of 11 Old 01-28-2003, 03:04 PM
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Our hospital is half anf half. The reason they charge so much id because insurance companies get such a big discount. Mine negotiated the bill to half and then I paid 20% of that. While most of the stuff was included, medication wasn't (so I brought my own bottle of tylenol and advil) and I don't like htier pads so I brought my own but those would have been included. they charged my $6.10 for a freaking pacifier ($.75 at Wal-mart) and extra for not making it to the hospital on time( "well we set up the room for you and our staff was ion there preped and waiting" Yet the wouldn't have charged me $250 if I had actually delivered there )

your best bet would be to call the OB unit at your hopspital ahead of time and see what they charge you for. Some people make a big deal about not being charged a package but you really do get hosed if you do that. When they break it down the charge you a butt and anut for all that stuff. in the package almost everything was included. Besides the pacifier the only other charges were x-rays and extra lab work (she was in rough shape when she came out)

Someone told me warmed blankets at this hospital were $45 a peice. i just about threw up when they threw 3 of them over me and wrapped the baby in 2. Fortunately they were no where on the bill (darn, i should have asked for more).

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