I am such a proponent of natural birth and informed birth decisions that i was very excited to use a place like Midwifery of Manhattan for my first babies birth. I booked an apt for a free orientation. I clearly stated that I already had an OBGYN but i wanted to hear about what their practice had to offer. I went in with my husband. They gave us a bunch of paperwork to sign; most of which only seemed relevant if i decided to go with them. We walked in to the apt, the midwife was really nice and answered all our questions, she asked me questions; like weight, height, etc. I told her I didn't know how this all worked so if she could explain it to me. The midwife said they couldn't do anything until they transfered over my records from my OBGYN. I told her I needed to call my insurance to check to see if they would cover, or what percentage they would cover their services before i could commit.
I went home and called my insurance and they told me that they would only cover, a percentage after I paid my deductible ($2000) and because my pregnancy crossed to calendar years it would be two deductibles. Anyway it would work out to cost $7000 for using their facility. I immediately called them and told them that unfortunately the cost was beyond what i wanted to spend and thank you very much.
Then a month later i received a bill for $500.00 for the visit. I thought for sure that this bill was issued in error. I called them and they told me to talk to their billing ""woman"", the only billing accountant. When I spoke to her and explained my situation, she told me that i had actually come in for a first visit and thats what i was getting charged with. I told her that it was impossible because A) that wasn't what i booked and B)they didn't do anything to me or examine me or check me or anything, at all... all we did was talk about their practice. The Billing woman grew intolerably aggressive and rude. She completely talked over me, didn't allow me to explain the situation and when i told her that i refused to pay the full amount because it was totally unfair she rephrased what i said in a nasty way, ""oh are you threatening not to pay now"". The conversation went on and on, I was just perplexed by the intensity and total disregard for fairness she showed to an expecting mom who couldn't afford to pay for their misunderstanding. After several other phone calls and a written letter to them, explaining the situation... I was just served papers that i have been sued and must attend nyc civil court or pay the $500 (plus interest). I am aghast by this. The point to which they are aggressively pursuing me, for the 30 minute meeting (which was supposed to be an orientation) and that they didn't want to settle this out of court, makes me ill. They may have a great roster of midwives, but after this experience I think they (everyone associated with this terrible practice) is a cancer posing as something healthy and wise. I would encourage anyone to boycott them. I can't imagine how many other expectant moms have been extorted by midwifery of manhattan.
Pros: They offer midwife services
Cons: Terrible customer relations; aggressive, nasty, money driven