3 On Your Side

Childbirth class 'delivers' controversial fee

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Scott and Lexi Knight found a class they wanted to take, but were disturbed that English-speaking couples were being charges almost twice as much as Spanish-speaking couples. (Source: 3TV) Scott and Lexi Knight found a class they wanted to take, but were disturbed that English-speaking couples were being charges almost twice as much as Spanish-speaking couples. (Source: 3TV)
The class they wanted was $70. The same class in Spanish was only $40. (Source: 3TV) The class they wanted was $70. The same class in Spanish was only $40. (Source: 3TV)
Banner Estrella Medical Center looked into the discrepancy and said it was an error, and that the Spanish class is not even available right now. (Source: 3TV) Banner Estrella Medical Center looked into the discrepancy and said it was an error, and that the Spanish class is not even available right now. (Source: 3TV)
Banner Estrella Medical Center said its website has been corrected. (Source: 3TV) Banner Estrella Medical Center said its website has been corrected. (Source: 3TV)
Banner Estrella Medical Center (Source: 3TV) Banner Estrella Medical Center (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Valley couple about to be first-time parents say an English-speaking childbirth class they were looking into was charging nearly double the amount as same class for Spanish-speaking families.

With their due date nearly here, Scott and Lexi Knight are trying to prepare their Goodyear home for the imminent arrival of the bundle of joy. They've been working on the nursery for weeks.

"We painted this about probably about three of four weeks ago," Scott said as he and his wife showed us the nearly complete baby's room. "I knew all along it was going to be a boy." 

Planning to deliver at Banner Estrella Medical Center, the Knights decided to look into childbirth classes there.

"They showed us where to find the classes on the website and we found one that made sense," Scott said. "It was an overview of child birth and preparing for it."

The class they wanted to take was $70, and it seemed worth the expense to them. A closer look at the website, however, showed the exact same class was being offered to Spanish-speaking couples for just $40, almost half the price.

"I was very upset," Scott said. "Being a business owner myself, I look at pricing structures quite frequently and I thought to myself, if I were to charge my Spanish-speaking customers one price and my English-speaking customers another, I know I won't be in business very long."

That price discrepancy didn't sit right with them and they decided to not register for the class at all.

In the meantime, Scott says they reached out to the hospital for answers.

"I contacted the hospital," he said. "The person I spoke with had no idea why and referred me to one of the instructors of the course."

3 On Your Side got involved and asked Banner Health why it's charging English-speaking couples $70 while Spanish-speaking couples pay only $40.

"We will not be providing an on-camera interview at this time," a hospital spokesman wrote in an email to 3 On Your Side. "In reviewing the web site (sic), we discovered that the information for that class, including the pricing, was incorrect."

3 On Your Side is told the pricing has been adjusted and both classes will be $70.

The Knights wish the pricing discrepancy had been caught sooner.

"I feel that we’re trying to overcompensate sometimes and it’s becoming unfair to the general populations of the U.S.," Scott said.

The response from Banner Health can be read below.

“Thank you for your inquiry regarding the pricing of our English and Spanish childbirth education classes at Banner Estrella Medical Center. In reviewing the web site (sic), we discovered that the information for that class, including the pricing,  was incorrect. Banner Estrella does not currently offer a Spanish-language childbirth education class. The class was discontinued when the instructor was no longer able to continue teaching it. The incorrect information has been removed. We recognize the need to offer this class and are hopeful we can re-offer it in the future. In the meantime, we do offer a Spanish language childbirth class in the West Valley at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. It is available at the same price as the English class. Thank you for the opportunity to respond.”

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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