Birth Tourism and Neonatal Intensive Care: A Children's Hospital Experience

Michel Mikhael, John P. Cleary, Vijay Dhar, Yanjun Chen, Danh V. Nguyen, Anthony C. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective The aim of this article is to examine characteristics of birth tourism (BT) neonates admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Methods This was a retrospective review over 3 years; BT cases were identified, and relevant perinatal, medical, social, and financial data were collected and compared with 100 randomly selected non–birth tourism neonates. Results A total of 46 BT neonates were identified. They were more likely to be born to older women (34 vs. 29 years; p < 0.001), via cesarean delivery (72 vs. 48%; p = 0.007), and at a referral facility (80 vs. 32%; p < 0.001). BT group had longer hospital stay (15 vs. 7 days; p = 0.02), more surgical intervention (50 vs. 21%; p < 0.001), and higher hospital charges (median $287,501 vs. $103,105; p = 0.003). One-third of BT neonates were enrolled in public health insurance program and four BT neonates (10%) were placed for adoption. Conclusion Families of BT neonates admitted to the NICU face significant challenges. Larger studies are needed to better define impacts on families, health care system, and society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 24 2016

Keywords

  • birth tourism
  • children's hospital
  • neonatal intensive care
  • neonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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    Mikhael, M., Cleary, J. P., Dhar, V., Chen, Y., Nguyen, D. V., & Chang, A. C. (Accepted/In press). Birth Tourism and Neonatal Intensive Care: A Children's Hospital Experience. American Journal of Perinatology. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0036-1584139