Smiling and alert baby

PreTRM for Employers
The Chance to
Improve Prenatal Care Statistics

Preterm birth—a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy—is a common pregnancy-related complication, leading to many medical issues that can translate into high medical costs and lost productivity for mothers and other family members.


The PreTRM Test for preterm labor risk assessment allows doctors to identify pregnancies at increased risk of a premature birth, so they can take action to improve the chances of a healthy delivery. With early risk assessment and intervention, costs can be reduced, and the quality of life for babies and their families can be improved.

Health Impacts of Preterm Birth

Preterm birth—also called premature birth—is a complication affecting one in ten pregnancies, leading to an array of short- and long-term health issues.

Preterm birth affects more than 1 in 10 U.S. pregnancies

One in Ten Babies is Born Too Soon

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 common medical challenge facing pregnant women in the US, more common than other widely known  conditions such as preeclampsia, Down Syndrome, and cystic fibrosis.

One Third of Infant Deaths Are Linked to Preterm Births

Prematurity is the leading cause of U.S. infant mortality, with over 34% of newborn deaths attributable to preterm birth.2

Preterm Birth Is Associated With Many Medical Complications

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.

Woman holding and kissing her baby

Economic Impacts of Preterm Birth

With the high risk of medical issues that stem from premature birth, it is no wonder that early deliveries translate into huge prenatal costs for families, the healthcare system, and employers.

Along with the direct costs of caring for a premature infant, the losses in workplace productivity can be significant. When parents care for a child with long-term health problems—like cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and chronic lung disease—the strain on family resources can radiate into the workplace, with an increased need for time away from work.

Preterm birth has been found to be a major driver of
healthcare utilization and costs:

$  B
In the U.S., the cost to manage the complications of prematurity in 2016 was $25.2 billion, or $64,815 per preterm birth.3
The lifetime costs associated with preterm birth are estimated to be 10 times higher than those associated with a full-term birth in the U.S.4
Preterm births account for 61% of all maternal and neonatal costs.5
$  B
The most expensive conditions billed to private insurers for hospital stays are pregnancy, delivery, and newborn care, accounting for $51 billion in charges in 2008.6
Doctor reviewing PreTRM information on her tablet

Preterm Labor Risk Assessment: The PreTRM Test

When a pregnancy is known to be at high risk for preterm delivery, there are effective interventions to delay labor and improve health outcomes for baby and mother. While physicians know of certain risk factors for spontaneous preterm labor, up to half of women who deliver prematurely show no signs of these risk factors at an early enough stage to make meaningful changes to pregnancy care.7

An Innovative Test for Early Risk Identification to Improve Health Outcomes and Lower Healthcare Costs

The PreTRM Test is a simple blood test that doctors can order to identify pregnancies at higher risk of preterm labor, even when their patients lack evident risk factors for early delivery. The test measures the levels of key blood proteins that have been found to indicate a high risk of preterm labor.

In several published studies, the use of the PreTRM Test has shown promise in improving key health and economic outcomes by alerting physicians to an increased risk of premature delivery.

The AVERT PRETERM Trial: Improving Neonatal Outcomes

This historically controlled intervention trial demonstrated a significant seven-day reduction in hospital stays and an 18% reduction in severe neonatal morbidity and mortality for neonates.8

18% Reduction in Severe Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality

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

10% reduction in NICU admissions

Concierge Member Service for the PreTRM Test

Sera Prognostics offers convenient, personalized service for patients and their physicians when they decide to use the PreTRM Test:

Online Provider Portal

Doctors order the PreTRM Test with Sera’s online provider portal.

Scheduling Sample Collection

Once the order is placed, Sera’s dedicated support team will assist patients with scheduling their sample collection during the 18th through 20th week of pregnancy.

Sample Collection

A phlebotomist in our broad network will collect the sample and ship it to the Sera Prognostics laboratory for processing.


The PreTRM Test has a fast turnaround of an average of 7 business days from the receipt of sample. Results are sent directly to the doctor, who will contact the patient to discuss them.

Contact a Sera Prognostics representative today

If you are interested in learning more about how PreTRM can help reduce newborn healthcare costs and improve employees’ quality of life


  1. Hamilton BE, et al. Births: Provisional data for 2020. Vital Statistics Rapid Release; no 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. May 2021.
  2. Callaghan WM, et al. The contribution of preterm birth to infant mortality rates in the United States. Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):1566-73.
  3.  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:
  4. Waitzman NJ, et al. Preterm birth lifetime costs in the United States in 2016: An update. Semin Perinatol. 2021 Apr;45(3):151390.
  5. 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.
  6. ier 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:
  7. Iams, JD, et al. Prevention of preterm parturition. N Engl J Med. 2014;370:254-61.
  8. Matthew K. Hoffman, Carrie Kitto, Zugui Zhang, et al. Neonatal outcomes after proteomic biomarker-guided intervention: the AVERT PRETERM TRIAL. medRxiv 2023.09.13.23295503; doi:
  9. 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.