11 rural Wisconsin hospitals no longer deliver babies, report finds

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Finding a rural hospital in Wisconsin that provides obstetrics has become increasingly harder, according to the Wisconsin State Journal, which cites a report by the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health.

The report found that 11 rural hospitals in the state have ended routine obstetrics since 2010, the publication reported.

They are Bellin Health Oconto (Wis.) Hospital; Burnett Medical Center in Grantsburg; Gundersen Boscobel (Wis.) Area Hospital; Gundersen St. Joseph's Hospital in Hillsboro; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; Indianhead Medical Center in Shell Lake; Marshfield Medical Center in Ladysmith; Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County in Darlington; Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville; Ripon (Wis.) Medical Center; and Spooner (Wis.) Health.

The Office of Rural Health report also found five of the 35 rural hospitals in Wisconsin still delivering babies are at risk of stopping the service, according to the State Journal report. However, none of those five hospitals indicated they planned to end baby deliveries.

"While it is encouraging that no rural hospitals reported intentions of discontinuing obstetric services, it is questionable whether this event is frequently foreseen," the report said.

"Given current trends in obstetric unit closure and provider coverage and skill maintenance issues, optimism surrounding these data should be cautious and every effort made to support continued provision of these services."


More articles on patient flow:

Hahnemann University Hospital reveals timeline for closure
$100M NYC public hospital program aims to wean uninsured off ER visits
North Carolina hospital reopens

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