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Pediatrics. 1981 Sep;68(3):313-21.

Newborn risk factors and costs of neonatal intensive care.


To understand the sources of the high costs of neonatal intensive care, financial and medical information on 1,185 admissions to an intensive care nursery was gathered. Multiple regression analysis showed that a significant portion of the variation in individual costs was explained by three measures of risk: low birth weight, surgical intervention, and assisted ventilation. There was a highly skewed distribution of costs. Nearly half of all admissions had none of the above risk factors, had an average cost of about $2,000, and accounted for only 13% of the total costs for the whole sample. In contrast, less than one quarter of the admissions had two or more of the risk factors, had an average cost of $19,800, and accounted for nearly 60% of the total costs. Models that predict costs and length of stay on a basis of seven risk factors were developed to allow for differences in patient populations.

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