Online Program

Describing costs of Mississippi infant health and potential return on investment in infant mortality reduction efforts

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 5:10 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Juanita C. Graham, DNP RN FRSPH, Office of Health Data & Research, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Background: The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) asked The Mississippi Legislature for a $1 million investment in infant mortality reduction efforts and to support six evidence-based strategies to improve birth outcomes. MSDH adopted these strategies in response to an Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) Presidential Challenge calling for an 8% reduction in premature births by 2014. The Legislature requested a report of the return such an investment would produce for the state.

Methods: MSDH developed a report describing relevant literature findings and applying those findings to Mississippi Vital Statistics data.

Results: In 2011, Mississippi had 6,582 premature babies, 4,705 low weight babies, and 777 infants were either stillborn or died before their first birthday. Based on the financial projections presented in the report, focused efforts to reduce preterm births by 8% might yield $15 million in saved excess costs, about $2 million saved per extra week of pregnancy, and about $5 million for a $1 million investment in a high risk pregnancy care program.

Conclusions: Preventive care will always be less expensive than restorative care in regards to actual healthcare expenditures and quantity and quality of life. For Mississippi, a $1 million investment in prevention efforts that reduce premature and low weight births potentiates millions in fiscal savings and immeasurable physical and emotional benefits for Mississippi families.

Public Health Implications: Addressing infant mortality in times of economic downturn requires innovative strategies that embrace the foundational public health philosophy of prevention.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Biostatistics, economics
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the potential return on investment associated with a $1 million investment in infant mortality reduction efforts in Mississippi.

Keyword(s): Infant Mortality, Economic Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Serving as Nurse Consultant to Health Services of MS State Dept of Health since 2004.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.