Circumcision: A Survey of Fees and Practices

OBG Management: Pages 34-36, October 1994.

Who's more likely to use anesthetic for circumcision - male or female Ob/Gyns? Our poll answers that question and reveals how fees differ by region and physician age.

By Tom Garry,
Executive Editor

CIRP logo Note:

The reader is cautioned that these figures date from about 1994. The cost is likely to be much higher today.

Ob-Gyns' fees for circumcision range from $0 to $400, averaging $137 nationwide, according to an OBG Management survey of more than 200 physicians. The survey found that fees are highest in New Jersey ($237.50, on average), New York, Maryland and other Atlantic seaboard states. By contrast, several physicians in the Midwest, Deep South and Southwest changed $50 to 75.

How circumcision fees vary across America

Average circumcision fees in each of ACOG's nine geographical districts range from $204 in the middle-Atlantic states to $98 in the West.

CIRP logo Note:

A map of the United States in presented in the orginal with dollar figures depicted in various regions. The same information is presented here as a table.

New England                               $134
New York State                            $179
Mid Atlantic                              $204
Southeast                                 $138
Midwest                                   $ 89
Northern Plains                           $157
Southern Plains and Texas                 $113
West except California                    $ 98
California                                $143

The youngest Ob/Gyns tend to charge the most for circumcision; the oldest, the least. The average fee for respondents age 34 and younger is $182, as opposed to $81 for physicians 65 and older. Ob/Gyns in the 35-to-44 group have the second highest average fee, $144, while the mean fees for respondents age 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 are $125 and $134 respectively. Seventy-four percent of the Ob/Gyns surveyed perform circumcision. Several of those who do not reported that they used to do circs. Many stopped when they dropped obstetrics. Others, while still doing deliveries, have decided to let pediatricians handle the procedure.

The highs and lows of circ fees

While 4 percent of Ob/Gyns perform circumcision at no charge, three times as many of their colleagues set their fees for the procedure at $250 or more.

CIRP logo Note:

The following information is presented as a bar chart in the original document.

$250 to $400                          12%
$140 to $249                          27%
$100 to $149                          36%
$1   to $99                           21%
$0                                     4%

A distinct minority - 14 percent - of those currently performing circumcision use anesthetic. Use of anesthetic was more prevalent among female physicians, 20 percent of whom reported utilizing it for the procedure. The survey found no other appreciable differences in male and female Ob-Gyns' circumcision fees and practices.

Who's most likely to do circs

Ob/Gyns aged 34 or younger are the physicians most likely to perform circumcision and least likely to use anesthetic. Eighty-three percent of the respondents in that age group said they do the procedure, but only 4 percent reported that they use anesthetic.

Despite the ongoing controversy about "intactness" thats being played out on talk shows and in parenting magazines, the Ob/Gyns said that the overwhelming majority of male infants they deliver are circumcised in the first month of life. Most survey participants put that figure at 90% or more of the baby boys they delivered, while a handful of lower responses pulled the average down to 82 percent.


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