RH Reality Check: Study highlights grim realities of rural obstetric access: June 9th, 2009
This column about maternal and infant health outlines the various studies that have happened recently that dissect the decline in hospital-based obstetric care available to rural American populations. The total number of hospitals has declined since the 1980s, and a number of factors have caused decreases in doctors and institutions offering obstetric care. Difficulties in the staffing of health care professionals, rising malpractice insurance premiums, and disparities in payments due to a high proportion of rural communities being on Medicaid are all reasons hospitals cut down on obstetric care. Read the full article here.