Care-as-usual provided to formerly preeclamptic women in the Netherlands in the next pregnancy: health care consumption, costs and maternal and child outcome

D.H.J. Delahaije*, L.J.M. Smits, S.M.J. van Kuijk, L.L. Peeters, J.J. Duvekot, W. Ganzevoort, M.A. Oudijk, M.G. van Pampus, H.C.J. Scheepers, M.E. Spaanderman, C. Dirksen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To explore hospital costs by pregnant women with a history of early-onset preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome, managed according to customary, but non-standardized prenatal care, by relating maternal and child outcome to maternal health care expenditure. Study design: This was a cohort study, in women of 18 years or older who suffered from early-onset preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome in their previous pregnancy (n = 104). We retrieved data retrospectively from hospital information systems and medical records of patients who had received customary, non-standardized prenatal care between 1996 and 2012. Our analyses focused on the costs generated between the first antenatal visit at the outpatient clinic and postpartum hospital discharge. Outcome measures were hospital resource use, costs, maternal and child outcome (recurrence of preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome, incidence of eclampsia, gestational age at delivery, intrauterine fetal demise, small-for-gestational-age birth and low 5 min Apgar score). We used linear regression analyses to evaluate whether maternal and child outcome and baseline characteristics correlated with hospital costs. Results: Maternal hospital costs per patient averaged (sic) 8047. The main cost drivers were maternal admissions and outpatient visits, together accounting for 80% of total costs. Primary cost drivers were preterm birth and recurrent preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome. Conclusion: Hospital costs in the next pregnancy of formerly preeclamptic women varied widely with over 70% being medically unexplainable. The results of this study support the view that care standardization in these women can be expected to improve costs and efficacy of care without compromising outcome. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-245
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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