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March 27, 2018

Eroding Access and Quality of Childbirth Care in Rural US Counties

Author Affiliations
  • 1Ariadne Labs, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2018;319(12):1203-1204. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.1646

Although it is difficult to imagine a health care service that is more valuable to society than childbirth, US hospitals often lose money when they provide local childbirth services for healthy mothers.1 This discrepancy is a major flaw in the design of the maternal health system that may be the basis for lagging birth outcomes in the United States compared with other high-income nations.2