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March of Dimes - Rhode Island Chapter

220 West Exchange St. #003

Providence, RI  02903

(401) 454-1911

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    Healthy Babies, Healthy Business®

    Healthy Babies, Healthy Business ® was designed to help you to enhance your existing wellness programs and to offer our content to your employees. Based on internal and externally conducted research, we know that reducing health care costs is a major factor when cost justifying these types of programs. That's why our program is free. We are keenly aware of the financial and emotional costs involved with having a premature or unhealthy baby and want to help you mitigate health care costs by enhancing employee education.

    Prematurity takes a devastating physical toll on babies. It robs families of the full potential of their beloved children, society of future leaders, and our nation of strong and healthy citizens. And it places a tremendous financial burden on everyone, including our health systems, businesses and society as a whole.


    Did you know?

    On average, hospital charges for newborns without complications run $1,700 while those for hospital stays for infants with a principal diagnosis of prematurity average a startling $77,0001 In 2003, hospital charges for all infants totaled $36.7 billion Nearly half of that, $18.1 billion - was for babies with ANY diagnosis of prematurity.


    Longer Hospital Stays = Higher Costs

    Consider the following statistics on the average length of infant hospital stays:

    2.0 days for uncomplicated newborns 13.6 days for infants with any diagnosis of prematurity  24.2 days for infants with a principal diagnosis of prematurity.


    Who Pays the Bill?

    You do. All health care payers — public and private — share the cost of caring for premature babies. Employers and other private health plans are responsible for half the total hospital bill for prematurity, and the federal/state Medicaid program also bears a large share of the cost.


    And the Costs Mount

    1. About 25 percent of the youngest and smallest babies who "graduate" from NICU care live with long-term health problems, including cerebral palsy, blindness and chronic conditions.

    2. A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that children born prematurely were at greater risk for lower cognitive test scores and behavioral problems when compared to full-term children.


    Finding Answers

    Premature birth can happen to any pregnant woman and, in nearly half the cases, no one knows why. The March of Dimes has launched a national campaign to take on this devastating problem, to find out what causes it and how it can be stopped. Learn more about the Prematurity Campaign.


    Your Next Steps...

    Visit the Healthy Babies, Healthy Business ® website.

    Contact our State Director of Programs, Advocacy & Governmental Affairs Marilyn Noll via email or by calling (414) 203-3118 to discuss your next steps.

    1. Figures calculated by the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center using data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 2003. Estimates of inpatient stays and hospital charges for prematurity are based on stays with a diagnosis of prematurity/low birth weight.

    2. Hack M, Flannery DJ, Schluchter M, et al. Outcomes in young adulthood for very-low-birth-weight infants. N Engl J Med. 2002;346:149-157.

    3. Bhutta et al. Cognitive and behavioral outcomes of school-aged children who were born preterm. JAMA. 2002;288:728-737

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