What are the costs of stillbirth? Capturing the direct health care and macroeconomic costs in Australia

Callander, Emily J., Thomas, Joseph, Fox, Haylee, Ellwood, David, and Flenady, Vicki (2020) What are the costs of stillbirth? Capturing the direct health care and macroeconomic costs in Australia. Birth, 47 (2). pp. 183-190.

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Background: Reducing stillbirth rates is an international priority; however, little is known about the cost of stillbirth. This analysis sought to quantify the costs of stillbirth in Australia.

Methods: Mothers and costs were identified by linking a state-based registry of all births between 2012 and 2015 to other administrative data sets. Costs from time of birth to 2 years postbirth were included. Propensity score matching was used to account for differences between women who had a stillbirth and those that did not. Macroeconomic costs were estimated using value of lost output analysis and value of lost welfare analysis.

Results: Cost to government was on average $3774 more per mother who had a stillbirth compared with mothers who had a live birth. After accounting for gestation at birth, the cost of a stillbirth was 42% more than a live birth (P <.001). Costs for inpatient services, emergency department services, services covered under Medicare (such as primary and specialist care, diagnostic tests and imaging), and prescription pharmaceuticals were all significantly higher for mothers who had a stillbirth. Mothers who had a stillbirth paid on average $1479 out of pocket, which was 52% more than mothers who had a live birth after accounting for gestation at birth (P <.001). The value of lost output was estimated to be $73.8 million (95% CI: 44.0 million-103.9 million). The estimated value of lost social welfare was estimated to be $18 billion.

Discussion: Stillbirth has a sustained economic impact on society and families, which demonstrates the potential resource savings that could be generated from stillbirth prevention.

Item ID: 61969
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1523-536X
Keywords: costs, decision-making, economics, resource use, stillbirth
Copyright Information: © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Griffith School of Nursing and Midwifery (GU), Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence Grant Number: GNT1116640, NHMRC Career Development Fellowship Grant Number: GNT1159536
Date Deposited: 04 May 2021 22:55
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380108 Health economics @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420499 Midwifery not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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