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OBSTETRICS: Reasons OB units close in rural areas

The reasons why rural hospitals closed their labor and delivery services were studied based on a telephone survey of hospitals in nine states.  Of the 263 hospitals that responded, 19 (or 7.2 percent) closed their OB units during the study period of 2011 to 2014.  Here are the reasons that were identified as risk factors for closing:

  • Low birth volume
  • Private (as opposed to public) ownership of the hospital
  • Low number of family physicians practicing in the area
  • Low income surrounding area

Source: Hung, P., and others. (2016, August). Why are obstetrics units in rural hospitals closing their doors? HSR. Health Services Research, 51(4), 1546-1560.  Click here for publisher’s website: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-6773.12441/full  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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