Key Findings: Inpatient Hospital Stays Related to Birth Defects Cost Nearly $23 Billion in 2013
Birth defects are common, costly, and critical conditions that affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States each year. New CDC research estimates that hospitalizations among people with birth defects cost the U.S. healthcare system approximately $23 billion in 2013. You can read the article or read more below for a summary of this study’s findings.
About the Study
Researchers used data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) 2013 National Inpatient Sample (NIS), which gathers information from U.S. community hospitals. In this study, researchers looked at the annual cost of birth defect-associated hospitalizations in the United States for patients of all ages.
- Hospital stays related to any birth defect cost the U.S. healthcare system approximately $23 billion in 2013.
- Birth defect hospitalizations accounted for 3% of all hospitalizations and 5% of total hospital costs.
- Costs were particularly high for hospitalizations related to congenital heart defects, which cost more than $6 billion in 2013.
- Costs were highest for patients less than 1 year of age, totaling about $9 billion in 2013.
- Estimates of the cost of hospital stays related to any birth defect provide important information on how birth defects impact the overall healthcare system. The information can be used to support prevention and early detection of birth defects, and care throughout life for people with birth defects.
Median Costs of Selected Specific Birth Defects in 2013
*Median cost can be found by arranging all costs for each specific birth defect from the lowest cost to highest cost and picking the middle one.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Activities: Birth Defects
CDC is working to address birth defects with the following activities:
- Tracking: CDC tracks birth defects through several state tracking systems and regional programs. CDC also supports and collaborates with the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN), a volunteer-based organization consisting of local, state, and national groups working on birth defects monitoring, research and prevention.
- Research: CDC funds the Centers for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, which collaborate on large studies such as the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) (births 1997-2011) and the Birth Defects Study To Evaluate Pregnancy exposureS (BD-STEPS) (began with births in 2014). These studies work to identify factors that increase the risk for birth defects.
Key Findings Reference
Arth AC, Tinker SC, Simeone RM, Ailes EC, Cragan JD, Grosse SD. Inpatient Hospitalization Costs Associated with Birth Defects Among Persons of All Ages — United States, 2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:41–46.
- Page last reviewed: January 19, 2017
- Page last updated: January 19, 2017
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