Purpose: To evaluate whether providing 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) to high-risk pregnant women who have a history of preterm delivery in a Medicaid managed care population reduces the rate of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions, NICU length of stay, and associated costs.
Design: A 2004–2005 longitudinal review of birth outcomes in 24 pregnant women with a history of preterm delivery who were treated with 17P versus a control group.
Methodology: Intervention included offering 17P as a benefit to pregnant women who had a history of preterm labor and delivery and who were deemed to be appropriate candidates for this treatment by their physicians. An educational program about 17P was developed that was aimed at physicians, their office staff, and plan members. A process of early identification of potential 17P candidates was also implemented.
Principal findings: NICU admission rates decreased to 14.3 percent in the control group and 8.3 percent in the 17P group. NICU length of stay decreased significantly from 231 days in the control group to 149 days in the 17P group. Overall costs for the control group were $568,462 versus $165, 487 in the treatment group — a significant savings of $402, 975.
Conclusion: Offering 17P as a benefit to pregnant women enrollees with a history of preterm delivery can decrease NICU days significantly for a Medicaid managed care plan.