Jan 23, 2024 - Health

Mapped: More than half of U.S. rural hospitals don't offer maternity care

Share of rural hospitals without labor and delivery services
Data: Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform; Map: Axios Visuals

More than half (55%) of the nation's rural hospitals don't offer maternity care, as challenging economics and labor shortages force more rural facilities to stop providing labor and delivery services.

The big picture: Hospitals have been increasingly scaling back or cutting maternity services for financial reasons — while demand for obstetrics care rises as more states ban abortion.

Driving the news: In more than 10 states, more than two-thirds of rural hospitals don't offer maternity care, according to a new report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform.

Zoom in: The report also finds that while patients in most urban areas can reach labor and delivery services in less than 20 minutes, rural patients typically have a travel time of 30 minutes or more.

  • More than 200 U.S. rural hospitals have stopped delivering babies in the past decade.

Go deeper: Giving birth in America continues to get deadlier

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