BACKGROUND:

Male circumcision confers protection against HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and urinary tract infections. Compared with circumcision of postneonates (>28 days), circumcision of neonates is associated with fewer complications and usually performed with local rather than general anesthesia. We assessed circumcision of commercially insured males during the neonatal or postneonatal period.

METHODS:

We analyzed 2010 MarketScan claims data from commercial health plans, using procedural codes to identify circumcisions performed on males aged 0 to 18 years, and diagnostic codes to assess clinical indications for the procedure. Among circumcisions performed in the first year of life, we estimated rates for neonates and postneonates. We estimated the percentage of circumcisions by age among males who had circumcisions in 2010, and the mean payment for neonatal and postneonatal procedures.

RESULTS:

We found that 156 247 circumcisions were performed, with 146 213 (93.6%) in neonates and 10 034 (6.4%) in postneonates. The neonatal circumcision rate was 65.7%, and 6.1% of uncircumcised neonates were circumcised by their first birthday. Among postneonatal circumcisions, 46.6% were performed in males younger than 1 year and 25.1% were for nonmedical indications. The mean payment was $285 for a neonatal and $1885 for a postneonatal circumcision.

CONCLUSIONS:

The large number of nonmedical postneonatal circumcisions suggests that neonatal circumcision might be a missed opportunity for these boys. Delay of nonmedical circumcision results in greater risk for the child, and a more costly procedure. Discussions with parents early in pregnancy might help them make an informed decision about circumcision of their child.

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