U economists tally societal cost of preterm birth
The 2019 March of Dimes Report Card features the statistics of preterm birth and social determinants of health (such as poverty) and policy actions that affect moms and babies, and is this year informed by an analysis of the cost of preterm birth, led by Norman Waitzman and Ali Jalali.
The total cost in 2016, including medical costs for children, medical costs of maternal delivery, early intervention and special education services and lost labor market productivity, totaled $25.2 billion, or an average of $64,815 per preterm birth. From 2005 to 2016, the average cost of a preterm birth increased by 25%. The results, Waitzman said, are a starting point for focusing intervention efforts. “How much can timely and high quality prenatal care for example, bring down the rate of preterm birth?” he said. “Increasing gestational age even by a few weeks would reduce adverse consequences and save a lot.”