The high cost of pre-term infant care significantly increases the earlier a baby is born
Preterm infants are among the most expensive of all pediatric patients since early gestational age correlates with increased neonatal mortality, prematurity-associated medical complications, hospital length of stay, and per individual medical expenditures. According to the March of Dimes, the average cost of a preterm birth in the United States was $65,000 in 2016 compared to an average $5,000 for a non-PTB delivery. These costs become more significant the earlier a baby is born. The average cost of a preterm baby less than 28 weeks approaches $300,000 due to lengthy hospital stays in the NICU and programs to manage potentially debilitating consequences to the newborn. Added to this is the life-long additional cost of chronic illness medical expenses and lost wages due to unfulfilled potential.