This article provides an overview of neonatal intensive care unit treatment costs for hospitals that participated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Quality Improvement Collaborative Year 2000 (NIC/Q 2000) quality improvement collaborative and discusses how economic information can be used in quality improvement efforts. Detailed information on neonatal intensive care unit treatment costs is presented for 29 hospitals that participated in the NIC/Q 2000 collaborative. The sample consists of 6797 very low birth weight infants (1500 g or less at birth) with admission dates between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 1998. Information on median treatment cost per infant, ancillary costs, accommodation costs, length of stay, and cost per day is presented. In addition, ancillary costs are further disaggregated into those for respiratory therapy, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, and all other ancillary services. The role of level of care and other factors that influence treatment costs are then explored.
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