Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Alexander Kirpich

Second Advisor

Dana Graham MPH



Introduction: The cost of giving birth ranges drastically throughout the country depending on multiple variables. One of these variables is insurance type. Whether that be private insurance, government insurance or self funded. By providing payment breakdowns by insurance type, this case study seeks to clarify payment amount for births.

Aim: To be able to provide cost transparency for giving birth and to show payment variation among payor types and over time for giving birth.

Methods: This capstone project utilizes publicly available, inpatient hospital stay data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). The capstone focuses on total payments per insurance type over the years 2017 to 2021 for birth specific inpatient stays.

Results: Costs do not have a clear trend for increasing from 2017 to 2021. Private insurance and self-pay insurance types had significantly different mean payments when compared to all other payer types using t-tests.

Discussion: This project provided overall trends and figures for payments among insurance types and years 2017 through 2021. There was a significant distinction between payment amount of private insurance payers and non private insurance payers, and self pay versus non self pay. More analysis is recommended subject to data availability for factors affecting birth payments in America.


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