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Program targeting opioid-affected newborns decreases cost of care

May 8, 2018
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A South Carolina program offering coordinated, community-based care for newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is significantly reducing costs of care, a new study suggests.

The study, which is being published in the June issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, indicates less of an impact on medical outcomes and child protective services involvement, however. The study compared outcomes for infants receiving care from the Managing Abstinence in Newborns (MAiN) program, launched by the medical director of newborn services at the Greenville Health System, to those for infants receiving traditional care between 2006 and 2014.

The researchers found that the multidisciplinary community-based care under MAiN led to per-birth costs that were lower by a median of around $8,200. Infants receiving traditional care were more likely to be treated in a high-level nursery or have emergency department visits.

“There is enormous potential for programs such as this to provide a safe, cost-effective and sustainable alternative to prolonged inpatient NAS management,” stated an accompanying editorial to the journal article about the study.



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