New comprehensive analysis conducted by a group of noted health economists:
Clinical and Cost Impact Analysis of a Novel Prognostic Test for Early Detection of Preterm Birth, was published in the American Journal of Perinatology Reports, and available at https://www.thieme-connect.de/products/ejournals/pdf/10.1055/s-0036-1593866.pdf .
The authors concluded that “The use of a prognostic test for reducing spontaneous preterm birth is a dominant strategy that could reduce costs and improve outcomes.”
“The clinical and financial impact of preterm birth continues to increase and contribute to the rising cost of healthcare in the US. The outcome of our in-depth analysis showed the potential significance of a novel prognostic test such as the PreTRM test, to improve neonatal health and achieve subsequent reduction of overall costs of preterm birth on the healthcare system.”
Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Cost of Premature Birth4,18
- Labor and delivery costs for the mom
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) costs for the baby
- Early intervention services to address disabilities and developmental delays
- Special education services for long-term developmental/learning issues
Labor/Delivery/NICU Costs - The March of Dimes estimates a premature baby costs 10 times more than a full-term baby. The quantifiable estimates are $54,194 for a preterm baby versus $4,384 for a full-term baby. Included in these costs are the birth and extended hospital stay in the NICU for the baby.
Early Childhood Cost – During the first year of life, a premature baby may suffer from respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as poor temperature and metabolism control, and anemia. The newborn may require monitoring and treatments to address the specific medical conditions. Babies born prematurely have on average 20 physician office visits during the first year of life compared to 14 for a full-term baby.
Long-term Issues – Half of cerebral palsy sufferers were born prematurely. Due to the neurological and respiratory issues associated with cerebral palsy, these patients require long-term monitoring and care. Additional long-term premature birth issues could include impaired cognitive skills, hearing and vision problems, and asthma. Recent research is studying a possible link between premature birth and autism.