Objective: The objective of this study was assessment of hospital costs of 211 preterm babies admitted to NICU in a 12-month period.
Methods: Preterm babies with gestational age 28-37 GW hospitalized in Dr. L. Kırdar Kartal Research and Training Hospital NICU between November 1st, 2006 to October 31st, 2007 were included in this retrospective study. The financial records of the babies were plotted and investigational, interventional, consumable costs, drugs and ancillary costs were determined. The average daily cost of a preterm has been determined. Group I and II consisted of babies with gestational ages 37-33 GW and 32-28 GWs respectively. The length of stay, ventilation duration and costs of each group were compared.
Findings: The mean birth weight was 1689±497 gr. The mean length of hospital stay was 13.6±13.4 days. Hundred and four (49,5%) patients were found to be ventilated. The median ventilation day was 3 days. We found a statistically significant relation between length of hospital stay, ventilation duration, presence of intervention, RDS, sepsis and hospital costs. The mean total hospitalization cost and the daily cost of a preterm was determined as $4187 and $303 respectively. The highest intensive care costs of preterm neonates were found to be paid for interventional procedures, followed by NICU personnel salary and ancillary costs. Between two groups statistically significant difference was found for length of stay, duration of ventilation, interventional and consumable costs (P=0.014, P=0.019, P=0,001, P=0.03 respectively).
Conclusion: Strategies for prevention of prematurity and early weaning from mechanical ventilation may shorten length of hospital stay leading to decreased NICU costs.
Keywords: Cost Analysis; Hospital Costs; NICU; Preterm Infant.