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How employers can save a million dollars per 1000 pregnancies

Most large employers self-fund their health plans for employees. One of their biggest expenses is preterm births.

Currently, 1 in 10 births are preterm – less than 37 weeks gestation. Each preterm birth increases medical costs over a normal birth by $50,000 through the first year after birth.

These costs could be reduced significantly by lowering the number of preterm births. Many trials have found that taking just 5,000 IU of Vitamin D daily reduces the risk of preterm birth in half, to just 1 in 20 pregnant women.

I propose that employers could incentivize women in their health plans to take Vitamin D during pregnancy by paying them and their doctors to do so. This practice is well established and very effective in getting women to stop smoking during pregnancy, a much more difficult intervention than taking Vitamin D.

The total cost of the incentives plus education, distribution, etc., should amount to approximately $890 per woman, for a cost savings to the company of $50,000 minus 20 x $890, or $32,200, for every 20 pregnancies. $350 would cover the costs of testing, education, distribution, and payment system. The remaining $540 would be the incentive to the mother and doctor, perhaps split equally - about $1/day of pregnancy.

Summary: I suggest that incentivizing women and doctors to add Vitamin D during pregnancy would be a win-win situation for the employer, the women, and their infants, and a very practical way to introduce the benefits of Vitamin D to the health community.

   Henry Lahore, Dec 6, 2017

References - Preterm births, Employers

References - Financial Incentives

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Created by admin. Last Modification: Sunday December 10, 2017 18:25:26 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 66)