December 2, 2014

"Trends In Complicated Newborn Hospital Stays & Costs, 2002–2009: Implications For The Future,” has been published by Medicare & Medicaid Research Review (MMRR).

This paper assesses trends in complicated newborn hospital stays from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample all-payer administrative data. Findings indicate that complicated births and hospital discharges within 30 days of birth remained relatively constant between 2002 and 2009, but average costs per discharge increased substantially (p < 0.001 for trend). Most strikingly, over time, the proportion of complicated births billed to Medicaid increased, while the proportion paid by private payers decreased.

Among complicated births, the most prevalent diagnoses were preterm birth/low birth weight (23%), respiratory distress (18%), and jaundice (10%). The top two diagnoses (41% of newborns) accounted for 61% of the aggregate cost. For infants with complications, those with Medicaid were more likely to be complicated due to preterm birth/low birth weight and respiratory distress, while those with private insurance were more likely to be complicated due to jaundice. Policies to prevent common birth complications have the potential to reduce costs for public programs and improve birth outcomes.

You may access the article here.

For questions, or more information, please contact Tara (Trudnak) Fowler

Fowler, T. T., Fairbrother, D., Owens, P., Garro, N., Pellegrini, C., & Simpson, L. (2014). Trends In Complicated Newborn Hospital Stays & Costs, 2002–2009: Implications For The Future. Medicare & Medicaid Research Review, 4(4), E1–E17.

Project Leaders

Project Leader

Tara Fowler Portrait

Tara Trudnak-Fowler

Deputy Director, Center for Military and Veterans' Health

tara.fowler@altarum.org