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J Pediatr. 2001 Aug;139(2):238-44.

Comparison of costs and referral rates of 3 universal newborn hearing screening protocols.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Women and Infants Hospital, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02905-2499, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the costs and referral rates of 3 universal newborn hearing screening programs: transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE), automated auditory brainstem response (AABR), and a combination, two-step protocol in which TEOAE and AABR are used.

STUDY DESIGN:

Clinical outcomes (referral rates) from 12,081 newborns at 5 sites were obtained by retrospective analysis. Prospective activity-based costing techniques (n = 1056) in conjunction with cost assumptions were used to analyze the costs based on an assumed annual birth rate of 1500 births.

RESULTS:

Referral rates differed significantly among the 3 screening protocols (AABR, 3.21%; two-step, 4.67%; TEOAE, 6.49%; P <.01), with AABR achieving the best referral rate at discharge. Although AABR had the lowest referral rate at discharge and the highest pre-discharge costs, the total pre- and post-discharge costs per infant screened (AABR, $32.81; two-step, $33.05; TEOAE, $28.69) and costs per identified child (AABR, $16,405; two-step, $16,527; TEOAE, $14,347) were similar among programs.

CONCLUSION:

Although AABR incurs higher costs during pre-discharge screening, it has lower referral rates than either the TEOAE or two-step program. As a result, the total costs of newborn hearing screening and diagnosis are similar among the 3 methods studied.

PMID:
11487750
DOI:
10.1067/mpd.2001.115971
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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