The Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine on Newborn Costs and Length of Stay

24 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2000

See all articles by Theodore Joyce

Theodore Joyce

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrew Racine

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office; Montefiore Medical Center

Sandra McCalla

SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn

Hassan Wehbeh

Lutheran Medical Center

Date Written: March 1994

Abstract

This paper determines newborn costs and lengths of stay attributable to prenatal exposure to cocaine and other illicit drugs, using as a data source all parturients who delivered at a large municipal hospital in New York City between November 18, 1991 and April 11, 1992. We performed a cross-sectional analysis in which multivariate, loglinear regressions were used to analyze differences in costs and length of stay between infants exposed and unexposed prenatally to cocaine and other illicit drugs adjusting for maternal race, age, prenatal care, tobacco, parity, type of delivery, birth weight, prematurity, and newborn infection. Urine specimens, with linked obstetric sheets and discharge abstracts provided information on exposure, prenatal behaviors, costs, length of stay and discharge disposition. Our principal findings show that infants exposed to cocaine and some other illicit drug stay approximately 7 days longer at a cost of $7,731 more than infants unexposed. Approximately 60 percent of these costs are indirect, the result of adverse birth outcomes and newborn infection. Hospital screening as recorded on discharge abstracts substantially underestimates prevalence at delivery, but overestimates its impact on costs.

Suggested Citation

Joyce, Theodore J. and Racine, Andrew and McCalla, Sandra and Wehbeh, Hassan, The Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine on Newborn Costs and Length of Stay (March 1994). NBER Working Paper No. w4673, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=254549

Theodore J. Joyce (Contact Author)

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Andrew Racine

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - NY Office ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
50 East 42nd Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Montefiore Medical Center ( email )

111 East 210th Street
Bronx, NY 10467

Sandra McCalla

SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn

450 Clarkson Avenue
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Room 362B
Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098

Hassan Wehbeh

Lutheran Medical Center

150 55th St
Brooklyn, NY 11220
United States

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