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Preterm Birth Prevention

Our statewide quality improvement initiative was developed in late 2018, with data collection and learning sessions spanning December 2019-October 2020.


Preterm (Less than 37 weeks gestation) in Minnesota in 2019

67% Higher

Minnesota’s preterm birth rate among American Indian/Alaska Native women vs. all other women


Average cost of a preterm birth in Minnesota

1 in 11

In 2019, babies born preterm in Minnesota

The costs of prematurity are high.

Prematurity is the second leading cause of infant death in Minnesota (MN) and is associated with 24.7% of infant deaths from 2012-2016. In 2019, 9.3% of all MN babies were born prematurely. Significant health disparities by race and ethnicity also exist. American Indian (15.2%) and Black (9.7%) women have higher rates of preterm birth than White (8.6%) women (MDH infant mortality reduction initiative. (new paragraph) Personal and parental relationships can be disrupted and lifelong health problems in the infants can arise.

Furthermore, healthcare costs associated with prematurity are staggering. The average medical costs for a baby born at term are $4,389 compared to $54,194 for a premature baby (MOD). These costs translate to a $300 million excess expenditure for MN in 2017 . The prevention of preterm birth is critical to supporting long-term infant health, promoting health equity, and controlling healthcare costs.


Increase by 25% or more the accessibility and use of 17P in five health care systems in MN by April 2020 and by 50% by October 2020 so that:

  • 1. 95% or more of women are assessed for preterm singleton birth at first perinatal visit up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

  • 2. 95% or more of eligible women based on the preterm term treatment algorithm are offered 17P. 

  • 3. 95% or more women are explicitly asked what matters most to them about their pregnancy and birth. 

  • 4. 95% or more of all women with preterm singleton birth history are offered teach back on value of 17P.

  • 5. The time between prescribing and administration of first 17P dose is reduced to 10 days or less.

  • 6. Adherence increases to 80% or more of eligible 17P doses.

  • 7. 90% or more of women receiving 17P have a follow up “touch” at internals coproduced by care team and the woman


Need More Info?
Contact Susan Thompson Boehm at