Maternity ward closure trend continues

Rural hospitals are continuing to close maternity wards across the country due to staffing issues and declining births, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 10.

Between 2016 and 2020, there was an increase of 70 counties that qualified as maternity desserts, or counties without a hospital, a birth center, or clinicians with experience delivering babies, research from the March of Dimes found.

Cleveland-based University Hospitals is one recent system that is looking to halt maternity services at its hospital in Ashland, Ohio. Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare is also looking to end maternity care at some of its locations due to a decline in births.

Some state governments have stepped in to block hospitals from closing their maternity wards. The Massachusetts Department of Health determined that UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital Leominster (Ma.) Campus' maternity ward was an essential service, complicating plans for closure. The hospital will now have 15 days to submit a plan for maintaining maternity care in the area.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars