Publication Date: April 12th, 2021
Publication Type(s): Policy Brief
Topic(s): Health Disparities and Health Equity, Health Services, Hospitals and Clinics, Maternal Health, Women
Author(s): Interrante JD, Admon LK, Tuttle MS, Basile Ibrahim B, Kozhimannil KB
Rural communities in the United States have higher rates of both infant and maternal mortality, as well as serious pregnancy complications; this may be exacerbated by limited health care access. For both women and infants, risk of death is elevated among Black and Indigenous people. Addressing these health disparities, and improving maternal and child health for all rural residents, requires a thorough understanding of the obstetric care landscape. The purpose of this policy brief is to illustrate the differences between urban and rural hospitals that provide obstetric services by their size, capacity, location, and community characteristics, as well as to compare these factors between rural hospitals with obstetric services and those that recently closed their obstetric units.