Relationship Between Access to Obstetrical Care and Process and Outcome of Care


Previous work conducted by the WWAMI RHRC demonstrated a relationship between access to obstetrical care in rural communities and birth outcomes (see working paper #4). The Obstetrical Process and Outcome of Care Study compared rural versus obstetrical care and outcomes from birth certificates. This study examined the relationship between access to and availability of care (number of local providers available who provide obstetrical care and who care for pregnant Medicaid women) and quality and cost of care. Sources of data included Washington State birth certificates and hospital discharge abstracts, supplemented with information on hospitals, communities, and provider supply. Findings from this study further illuminate the connection between poor geographic access, Medicaid access, and poor quality care.