Suburban baby boom

February 24, 2009 3:57:34 PM PST
While some maternity wards are shutting down hospitals just outside of Philadelphia are seeing a boost in their baby business.

In fact, some hospitals in Montgomery and Bucks counties have seen deliveries double over the past few years. But it's not just because moms are having more babies.

James Ryan Ogilvia was born Monday at Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, Bucks County. His mom, Christine, says the care there is top-notch but that doesn't mean Grand View was her first choice.

"I've had a good experience at Central Montgomery and then since now they switched over here my experience has continued to be as good as my experience in the past."

Christine is alluding to the fact that Central Montgomery Medical Center, now known as Lansdale Hospital, along with a slew of other hospitals in the region, no longer has maternity wards, so, the medical centers that do have been experiencing a baby boom.

For years, Grand View averaged about 11-hundred births a year. But that's changed.

"In the last 3 years we've been steadily going up to 1200, 1300, 1400 deliveries," said Susan Minio, RN at Grand View.

And that's nothing compared to the medical facilities located closer to Philadelphia. A rash of maternity closures in the Northeast has resulted in a rush at so-called border hospitals.

In Bristol Twp, for example, the baby volume at Lower Bucks Hospital has nearly doubled since 2004. So what exactly is behind this trend?

"You gotta remember you don't have one patient you have two patients uh so you have to double up your manpower to take care of those two patients you're not getting reimbursed for two patients you're only getting reimbursed for one," said Austin Cleveland, CEO of Lower Bucks Hospital.

In fact, hospital experts estimate that maternity wards need at least 2000 deliveries a year to be financially viable.

Christine Ogilvia said she'd love to help Grand View achieve their numbers but you can count her out.

"This is my third and not that I'm saying this hospital isn't great but me personally I'm done!"

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