(NEWSER) – The average hospital baby delivery in the US costs $9,775—$15,041 if it's a Caesarean—more than any first-world country in the world, the New York Timesreports. It's $3,541 in France, and $2,641 in Britain. And the price hike is not because US mothers-to-be are getting better or more high-tech care; the US actually has one of the highest rates of infant and maternal death in the developed world. It's because of the unique way health care in America is billed: item by item. "It’s not primarily that we get a different bundle of services when we have a baby," says an economist at John Hopkins. "It’s that we pay individually for each service and pay more for the services we receive."