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Rural Obstetric Services: Access, Workforce, and Impact

A new research briefing looks at declining access for rural women to obstetric services. Between 2004 and 2014, 179 rural counties in the U.S. lost hospital-based obstetric services, with over half of rural counties now lacking these services. The distribution of rural counties without obstetrics services varies widely geographically, from 78% in Florida to 9% in Vermont.

Access to obstetric service factors may be related to lower birthrates, a limited rural obstetric workforce, Medicaid eligibility, and socio-economic factors. The impact of limited OB services is also briefly covered.

Links to the nine reports covered by the research overview — all from the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center — are  provided.

Source: Rural obstetric services: access, workforce, and impact. Rural Health Research Recap, Rural Health Research Gateway, April 2019. https://www.ruralhealthresearch.org/recaps/8

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050 rc@aha.org

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