This article provides an overview of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) treatment costs. It discusses data sources as well as the methods for measuring costs, contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of alternate approaches. In addition, detailed information on NICU treatment costs is presented from a nationally representative sample of 25 hospitals with NICUs. The sample consists of 3288 very low birth weight infants (≤1500 g at birth) with admission dates between January 1, 1993, and September 30, 1994. Information on median treatment cost per infant, ancillary costs, accommodation costs, length of stay, and cost per day are presented. In addition, ancillary costs are disaggregated further into those for respiratory therapy, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, and all other ancillary services.

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