Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billon every year, according to the Institute of Medicine.
The March of Dimes contracted with Thomson Reuters to estimate the cost of prematurity to health insurance plans of large employers. Here are some of the findings:
Preemies also need more outpatient visits and prescriptions.
The campaign funds research to find the causes of premature birth, and to identify and test promising interventions; educates health care providers and women about risk-reduction strategies; advocates to expand access to health care coverage to improve maternity care and infant health outcomes; provides information and emotional support to families affected by prematurity; and generates concern and action around the problem.
The goals of the Prematurity Campaign are to reduce the rate of premature birth, and to raise public awareness about the seriousness of the problem.
Prematurity is the leading killer of America's newborns. Those who survive often have lifelong health problems, including cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, chronic lung disease, blindness and hearing loss.