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Improved Referral of Very Low Birthweight Infants to High-Risk Infant Follow-Up in California.

CPQCC Publication
TitleImproved Referral of Very Low Birthweight Infants to High-Risk Infant Follow-Up in California.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsPai VV, Kan P, Bennett M, Carmichael SL, Lee HC, Hintz SR
JournalJ Pediatr
Date Published2019 Oct 03

OBJECTIVE: To examine changes in referral rates of very low birthweight (birthweight <1500 g) infants to high-risk infant follow-up in California and identify factors associated with referral before and after implementation of a statewide initiative in 2013 to address disparities in referral.

STUDY DESIGN: We included very low birthweight infants born 2010-2016 in the population-based California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative who survived to discharge home. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine factors associated with referral and derive risk-adjusted referral rates by neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and region.

RESULTS: Referral rate improved from 83.0% (preinitiative period) to 94.9% (postinitiative period); yielding an OR of 1.48 (95% CI, 1.26-1.72) for referral in the postinitiative period after adjustment for year. Referral rates improved the most (≥15%) for infants born at ≥33 weeks of gestation, with a birthweight of 1251-1500 g, and born in intermediate and lower volume NICUs. After the initiative, Hispanic ethnicity, small for gestational age status, congenital anomalies, and major morbidities were no longer associated with a decreased odds of referral. Lower birthweight, outborn status, and higher NICU volume were no longer associated with increased odds of referral. African American race was associated with lower odds of referral, and higher NICU level with a higher odds of referral during both time periods. Referral improved in many previously poor-performing NICUs and regions.

CONCLUSIONS: High-risk infant follow-up referral of very low birthweight infants improved substantially across all sociodemographic, perinatal, and clinical variables after the statewide initiative, although disparities remain. Our results demonstrate the benefit of a targeted initiative in California, which may be applicable to other quality collaboratives.

Alternate JournalJ. Pediatr.
PubMed ID31587859