D. Deming, N. Vyhmeister, Susan J Neese
Apr 1, 1984
During the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in medical costs and the number of survivors of neonatal intensive care units (NICU). We hypothesized that the cost of survivors from NICU's has decreased with the increase number of survivors.We looked at the hospital charges of 1344 infants admitted to the Loma Linda Univ NICU between Jan 1981 and June 1983. The charges were analyzed in various groups by gestational age, birthweight, and diagnositic categories. A cost of survivorship (COS) was calculated by dividing the total charges for each group of infants by the number of survivors in that group. Additionally we looked at the length of stay and the number of admissions and survivors in each category.The COS for infants with birthweights greater than 1000 gms did not change during the study [$26144(1981) to $26745(1983), calculated using the local medical inflation rate]. For infants less than 1000 gms the COS increased if less than 50% of the category survived, but the COS decreased if the survivors were greater than 50% of their category [$242617, 2 surv/21 babies (1981) to $143287, 16 surv/27 babies(1982)]. The infants who survived had a longer hospital stay and a greater cost than those who died.We conclude that the COS is dependent on an absolute increase in the number of survivors, the length of hospital stay, and the percent of infants surviving in each category.