Maternal & Infant Health Trends Series:

The Added Cost of Complications During and After Delivery

The latest analysis by Premier Inc. on maternal healthcare highlights that excess hospital costs in labor and delivery are in part due to potentially preventable complications and pre-existing chronic conditions. 


Key findings include:

  • Complications, including severe maternal morbidity (SMM) factors and chronic conditions, add on average 20% to the cost to hospitals to perform a vaginal delivery and 25% to the cost to perform a cesarean delivery.
  • Women with SMM stay in the hospital 70-75% longer, on average, and their care averages 88-111% more in hospitals’ cost compared to uncomplicated deliveries.
  • Behavioral health disorders that complicate childbirth add 27% and nearly 36% to the cost of uncomplicated vaginal and cesarean deliveries, respectively.

This analysis shines light on the opportunity to improve outcomes and avoid excess costs and longer lengths of stay by working across provider networks to ensure appropriate care prior to childbirth, and standardizing processes to identify and prevent labor and delivery complications. 

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