The cost effectiveness of prenatal care

Health Care Financ Rev. 1994 Summer;15(4):21-32.


This study uses hospital records for 7,000 births in McLennan County, Texas, during the period June 1987-July 1989 to examine the association between prenatal care and birth outcome and the implications for hospital costs of newborn infants. After controlling for a variety of maternal and birth factors, a significant relationship between prenatal care and birth outcome remained. Females who failed to receive prenatal care were almost three times as likely to have a low-birth-weight infant (weighing less than 2,500 grams) than females who did. Using an ordinary least squares (OLS) estimating equation (R2 = .24), the net expected hospital cost savings for females who received prenatal care was over $1,000.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Causality
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Health Services Research
  • Hospital Charges / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / economics*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / economics
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Marital Status
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / economics*
  • Prenatal Care / economics*
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Texas / epidemiology