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Title: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Latent versus Active Labor Hospital Admission for Medically Low-Risk, Term Women
Authors: Ellen L. Tilden, PhD, CNM,, BA,;Vanessa R. Lee;Allison J. Allen
Year: 2015
Abstract: ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the outcomes and costs of hospital admission during the latent versus active phase of labor. Latent labor hospital admission has been consistently associated with elevated maternal risk for increased interventions, including epidural anesthesia and cesarean delivery, longer hospital stay, and higher utilization of hospital resources. Methods: A cost-effectiveness model was built to simulate a theoretic cohort of 3.2 million term, medically low-risk women either being admitted in latent labor (< 4 cm dilation) or delaying admission until active labor (≥ 4 cm dilation). Outcomes included epidural use, mode of delivery, stillbirth, maternal death, and costs of care. All probability, cost, and utility estimates were derived from the literature, and total quality-adjusted life years were calculated. Sensitivity analyses and a Monte Carlo simulation were used to investigate the robustness of model assumptions. Results: Delaying admission until active labor would result in 672,000 fewer epidurals, 67,232 fewer cesarean deliveries, and 9.6 fewer maternal deaths in our theoretic cohort as compared to admission during latent labor. Additionally, delaying admission results in a cost savings of $694 million annually in the United States. Sensitivity analyses indicated the model was robust within a wide range of probabilities and costs. Monte Carlo simulation found that delayed admission was the optimal strategy in 76.79 percent of trials. Conclusion: Delaying admission until active labor is a dominant strategy, resulting in both better outcomes and lower costs. Issues related to clinical translation of these findings are explored. (BIRTH 42:3 September 2015) Key words: cesarean delivery, latent labor, low-risk labor Approximately one-third of United States births culminate in cesarean delivery (CD) (1) with wide variation in rates across United States hospitals (2). The most common reason offered for interhospital variations in CD rates is labor dystocia (3,4). Correct diagnosis of latent labor, correct diagnoses of active labor, and delayed hospital admission until active labor are practice patterns which have been identified as likely to Ellen L. Tilden is a certified nurse midwife at the School of Nursing, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA; Vanessa R. Lee is an obstetrics/gynecology resident; Allison J. Allen is an obstetrics/gynecology resident; and Emily E. Griffin is an obstetrics/ gynecology resident at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA; Aaron B. Caughey is Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Associate Dean of Women's Health Research
Appears in Collections:Birth 2015

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