Early Intervention Services

Evidence from Massachusetts on early intervention (EI) services delivered between the first through third years of life suggests that the rate of provision of such services for preterm infants is significantly higher on a per-case basis than that for term infants. Mean expenditures for such services per case displayed an inverse gradient by gestational age: less than 28 weeks, $7,182; 28 to 30 weeks, $5,254; 31 to 33 weeks, $2,654; 34 to 36 weeks, $1,321; and 37 to 39 weeks, $697 (Clements et al., 2005).

The services that Massachusetts mandates for EI services are more generous, on average, than those mandated by the nation as a whole (personal communication, W. Barfield, 2006). It is unclear, however, whether the level of incremental EI services delivered to children born preterm relative to those delivered to those born term in that state are above the national average. If incremental EI services were delivered in the rest of the country at the same level that they are delivered in Massachusetts, the incremental cost of such services would be an estimated $1,200 per preterm child, or a total of $611 million in 2005 dollars.2

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