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Journal of Perinatology





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OBJECTIVE: To 1) define the number and characteristics of NICUs in the United States (US) and 2) identify hospital and population characteristics related to US NICUs.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study of US NICUs.

RESULTS: There were 1424 NICUs identified in the US. Higher number of NICU beds was positively associated with higher NICU level (p < 0.0001). Higher acuity level and number of NICU beds related to being in a children's hospital (p < 0.0001;p < 0.0001), part of an academic center (p = 0.006;p = 0.001), and in a state with Certificate of Need legislation (p = 0.023;p = 0.046). Higher acuity level related to higher population density (p < 0.0001), and higher number of beds related to increasing proportions of minorities in the population up until 50% minorities. There was also significant variation in NICU level by region.

CONCLUSIONS: This study contributes new knowledge by describing an updated registry of NICUs in the US in 2021 that can be used for comparisons and benchmarking.


We wish to thank Delaney Smith, Bethany Gruskin, Carolyn Ibrahim, Polly Kellner, Julia Lisle, Marinthea Richter, Sharon Han, Maquela Noel, Shikha Mittal, Louisa Ferrara, Lara Liszka, Ramya Kumar, Gail Poskey, Debbie Thomas, Dana Hobby, Consuelo Kloosterman, Deanna Gibbs, Johanna Siemon, Margaret Miller, Suzanne Schneider, Sue Ludwig, Chrysty Sturdivant, Eilish Byrne, Ingrid McKinley, Natalie Haffner, Molly Houdeshell, Jeni Erickson, Jenny Kwon, Prutha Satpute, Kristen Connell, Tiffany Le, Crista Thompson, Danielle Prince, Molly Grabill, Maggie Meether, Jessica Roussin, Deborah Blady, Heather Neal, Joanne Chin, Marissa Corder, Caitlyn Terhune, Lauren Morgan, Margaux Collins, Kylie Buma, and Sarah Tenbarge. We also thank all the health care professionals who answered queries regarding their own hospitals.

This work was supported by grant UL1TR001855 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, specifically by the biostatistics core of the CTSA. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Open access funding provided by SCELC, Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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