This article reports on a study to estimate the clinical outcomes, costs, and cost-effectiveness of neonatal intensive care in Mexico. The authors conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis using a decision analytic model of health and economic outcomes following preterm birth. Model parameters governing health outcomes were estimated from Mexican vital registration and hospital discharge databases, supplemented with meta-analyses and systematic reviews from the published literature.
Costs were estimated on the basis of data provided by the Ministry of Health in Mexico and World Health Organization price lists, supplemented with published studies from other countries as needed. The model estimated changes in clinical outcomes, life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy, lifetime costs, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for neonatal intensive care compared to no intensive care. Uncertainty around the results was characterized using one-way sensitivity analyses and a multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
In the base-case analysis the authors found that neonatal intensive care for infants born at 24-26, 27-29, and 30-33 weeks gestational age prolonged life expectancy by 28, 43, and 34 years and averted 9, 15, and 12 DALYs, at incremental costs per infant of US$11,400, US$9,500, and US$3,000, respectively, compared to an alternative of no intensive care. The ICERs of neonatal intensive care at 24-26, 27-29, and 30-33 weeks were US$1,200, US$650, and US$240, per DALY averted, respectively. The findings were robust to variation in parameter values over wide ranges in sensitivity analyses.
Profit J, Lee D, Zupancic JA, Papile L, Gutierrez C, Goldie SJ, Gonzalez-Pier E, Salomon JA. Clinical Benefits, Costs, and Cost-Effectiveness of Neonatal Intensive Care in Mexico. PLoS Medicine 2010; 7 (12): e1000379. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000379