The effect of severe maternal morbidity on infant costs and lengths of stay

Claire M. Phibbs, Katy B. Kozhimannil, Stephanie A. Leonard, Scott A. Lorch, Elliott K. Main, Susan K. Schmitt, Ciaran S. Phibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the association between severe maternal morbidity (SMM) and infant health using the additional infant costs and length of stay (LOS) as markers of added clinical complexity. Study design: Secondary data analysis using California linked birth certificate-patient discharge data for 2009–2011 (N = 1,260,457). Regression models were used to estimate the association between SMM and infant costs and LOS. Results: The 16,687 SMM-exposed infants experienced a $6550 (33%) increase in costs and a 0.7 (18%) day increase in LOS. Preterm infants had ($11,258 (18%) added costs and 1.3 days (8.1%) longer LOS) than term infants ($2539 (38%) added costs and 0.5 days (22%) longer LOS). Conclusions: SMM was associated with increased infant costs and LOS, suggesting that SMM may have adverse health effects for infants, including term infants. The relatively larger effect on costs indicates an increase in treatment intensity (clinical severity) greater than additional LOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-616
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

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© 2022, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.


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