Study finds pregnancy and delivery related complications account for nearly 5 percent of total hospital costs in U.S.

Maternal stays with pregnancy and delivery-related complications accounted nearly 5 percent of total hospital costs in the United States in 2008, according to a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

The study examined a sample from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample on pregnancy and childbirth hospitalizations with complicating conditions, defined by ICD-9 codes, in 2008. 

Key findings:

  • 94.1 percent of deliveries had some type of pregnancy complication 
  • Stays with complications cost between $3,900 and $4,100, compared with stays without complications, which cost roughly $2,600 
  • Patients 35 – 44 years old accounted for 15% of maternal stays with complications, but only 1% of stays without complications.

(Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov, May 2011; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, May 23, 2011)