Nevada Journal of Public Health
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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), also called Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS), refers to a constellation of withdrawal symptoms occurring among infants born to mothers using addictive substances such as opioids during pregnancy. Nevada has consistently higher opioid prescribing rates among pregnant women compared to national estimates. While Nevada’s recent incidence rates for NOWS are available, healthcare utilization and cost associated with NOWS have not been quantified. This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the healthcare resource utilization and financial burden associated with NOWS in Nevada from 2016 to 2018 among newborns diagnosed with NOWS and to draw comparisons with non-NOWS newborns. The mean hospital stay of newborns with NOWS was significantly longer than non-NOWS newborns (17 days vs. 2.6 days, respectively, P<0.001). Correspondingly, inflationadjusted mean hospital charges were significantly higher for newborns with NOWS than non-NOWS newborns ($75,754, 95% CI $65,974-$85,533 vs. $11,673, 95% CI $11,195-$12,152, respectively, p<0.001) with over 75% ($13,074,141) of the total hospital costs to treat NOWS attributed to Medicaid. NOWS placed a significant financial strain on the healthcare system in Nevada. The findings of this study will assist in understanding the current status of statewide healthcare delivery for prioritizing the state’s financial needs and challenges.
Opioid use disorder; Healthcare; Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities | Public Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction
Cross, C. L.,
Pharr, J. R.,
Buttner, M. P.
Healthcare Utilization and Expenditures of the Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome in Nevada: A Cross-sectional Analysis (2016 -2018).
Nevada Journal of Public Health, 19