PreTRM for Payers How PreTRM Can Help Reduce Prenatal Costs
Preterm birth is the most prevalent pregnancy-related complication, leading to a host of medical issues and high costs for affected health plan members. The innovative PreTRM Test for preterm labor risk assessment allows physicians to proactively identify and mitigate risks, providing improved health outcomes and lower medical costs.
Health Impacts of Preterm Birth
Preterm birth—also called premature birth—is a pregnancy complication affecting one in ten pregnancies, with far-reaching impacts on mortality and morbidity.
In 2020, 10.09% of U.S. babies were born prematurely: 364,000 preterm births out of 3.6 million babies.1 Preterm birth is the most prevalent medical challenge facing pregnant women in the U.S., more common than other widely known conditions such as preeclampsia, Down Syndrome, and cystic fibrosis.
Prematurity is the leading cause of U.S. infant mortality, with over 34% of newborn deaths attributable to preterm birth.2
Premature delivery is associated with a variety of short- and long-term medical issues. In the short term, preterm infants often require specialist care through a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or special care nursery for feeding problems, breathing difficulties, and many other issues.
After the newborn period, premature infants face a higher risk of many long-term health problems, such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and issues with vision and hearing.
Economic Impacts of Preterm Birth
Not surprisingly, the increased risk of serious health effects for preterm infants can create the need for heavy use of healthcare resources and extremely high costs.
Preterm birth is a major driver of healthcare
utilization and costs:
Preterm Labor Risk Assessment: the PreTRM Test
When a pregnancy is determined to be at high risk for preterm delivery, there are effective interventions to delay labor and improve neonatal outcomes. Several known risk factors exist for spontaneous preterm labor, but up to half of women who deliver prematurely show no signs of these risk factors at an early enough stage to intervene.7
Using a single blood draw to identify predictive protein biomarkers, The PreTRM Test identifies higher-risk pregnancies that lack evident risk factors for spontaneous preterm birth.
Early Risk Identification for Improved Health Outcomes and Reduced Healthcare Costs
In several published studies, the use of the PreTRM Test for preterm labor risk assessment has shown promise in improving key health and economic indicators by enabling early risk mitigation.
PREVENT-PTB: Significant reductions in NICU stay duration
This prospective, randomized controlled intervention trial demonstrated a statistically significant 85% reduction in median neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) length-of-stay for spontaneous preterm deliveries: from 45.5 to 6.8 days, when higher-risk pregnancies identified by the PreTRM Test received risk-reduction interventions.8
Economic Impact: Projections of reduced NICU admission and lower costs using preterm labor risk assessment tools
In this analysis of data from more than 40,000 pregnant members of a major health plan, researchers projected that using the PreTRM test-and-treat strategy could provide dramatic benefits, including an average of $1,600 reduction in newborn medical costs per birth and a 10% reduction in NICU admissions
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- Hamilton BE, et al. Births: Provisional data for 2020. Vital Statistics Rapid Release; no 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. May 2021.
- Callaghan WM, et al. The contribution of preterm birth to infant mortality rates in the United States. Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):1566-73.
- Waitzman NJ, et al. Updating National Preterm Birth Costs to 2016 with Separate Estimates for Individual States: Final Report to the March of Dimes. Available from: https://www.marchofdimes.org/peristats/documents/Cost_of_Prematurity_2019.pdf
- Waitzman NJ, et al. Preterm birth lifetime costs in the United States in 2016: An update. Semin Perinatol. 2021 Apr;45(3):151390.
- Phibbs CS, et al. Birth Hospitalization Costs and Days of Care for Mothers and Neonates in California, 2009-2011. J Pediatr. 2019 Jan; 204:118-125.e14.
- Wier LM, Andrews RM. The National Hospital Bill: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer, 2008: Statistical Brief # 107. 2011 Mar. In: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical Briefs [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2006 Feb-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53976/
- Iams, JD, et al. Prevention of preterm parturition. N Engl J Med. 2014;370:254-61.
- Branch DW, et al. Prediction and Prevention of Preterm Birth: A Prospective, Randomized Intervention Trial. Am J Perinatol. 2021 Aug 16.
- Burchard J, et al. Clinical and economic utility of a preterm birth predictor derived from an analysis of a large and diverse pregnancy cohort. medRxiv. 2021.09.08.21262940.