A study of death rates among newborns found strikingly few differences from region to region and suggests that far too many doctors and hospital units specialize in intensive care of premature or sickly babies. Only newborns in areas with the very fewest such doctors--2.7 for every 10,000 births--show a higher death rate, 7% higher than in other areas, according to the report in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. Once a certain threshold of care is reached, having more doctors offers no advantage. Areas with a supply of neonatalogists ranging from 4.3 to 11.6 per 10,000 births all had about the same death rate. Even the most premature babies were found to die at roughly the same rate in these areas. Moreover, the supply of neonatal intensive-care hospital beds made no difference in death rates around the country.
Study: More neonatologists don't mean better care
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