Where maternal care is disappearing

Rural obstetrics, labor and delivery care is at risk as hospitals increasingly close obstetrics services.

The Center for Healthcare Quality & Payment Reform reported on the crisis of rural maternal care in May, noting that fewer than 46 percent of rural hospitals currently have labor and delivery services and hundreds more hospitals are at risk of losing maternity care.

Already in 2023 several hospitals have reported plans to close their obstetrics or labor and delivery units, including Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent, Froedtert Holy Family Memorial Hospital in Manitowoc, Wis., and Cox (Mo.) Monette Hospital.

Rural hospitals often lose money on obstetric care, according to the report, and smaller rural communities are at increased risk. In many rural areas, women travel more than 40 minutes to receive obstetric services.

The 13 states with the highest percentage of rural hospitals without obstetric services are:

1. Florida: 86 percent
2. North Dakota: 79 percent
3. Illinois: 71 percent
4. West Virginia: 71 percent
5. Louisiana: 75 percent
6. Mississippi: 69 percent
7. Nevada: 69 percent
8. Oklahoma: 68 percent
9. Virginia: 66 percent
10. Alabama: 65 percent
11. Georgia: 61 percent
12. Iowa: 61 percent
13. Nevada: 61 percent

In Nevada and Alaska, it takes on average more than 90 minutes for women to drive to an alternative hospital.

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


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars