Rising admission rates for even full-term and normal-weight babies into neonatal intensive care arouse concerns that NICUs are being overused. Is this just waste or is there fraud being perpetrated by hospitals and physicians that see this care as a good revenue source?
“If hospitals want to argue that NICUs are necessary, they will need to prove that the need exists, especially in light of the increasing share of infants admitted who are at or near full term,” wrote Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., from the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Comparative Effectiveness Research and the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research at Indiana University.
Minnesota reports progress in efforts to reduce induced early elective childbirths.
The Minneap0lis Star Tribune reports that “a group of 85 Minnesota hospitals — which provide 99.8 percent of deliveries in the state — has instituted ‘hard stop’ policies that discourage medically induced labor unless there are legitimate medical reasons. Since 2010, they have reduced elective inductions occurring before 39 weeks gestation by a remarkable 94 percent.”
Public-health officials have that childbirth even a week ahead of schedule ”increases the risk of complications and the need for costly neonatal intensive care. ”
Improving care and saving money. Sounds good. Good old Scandinavian civic-minded Minnesota.