Access to maternity care in rural Washington: its effect on neonatal outcomes and resource use

  • Abstract


    This study sought to ascertain the effects of poor local access to obstetric care on the risks of having a neonate diagnosed as non-normal, a long hospital stay, and/or high hospital charges.


    Washington State birth certificates linked with hospital discharge abstracts of mothers and neonates were used to study 29809 births to residents of rural areas. Births to women from rural areas where more than two thirds of the women left for care were compared with births to women from rural areas where fewer than one third left for care.


    Poor local access to providers of obstetric care was associated with a significantly greater risk of having a non-normal neonate for both Medicaid and privately insured patients. However, poor local access to care was consistently associated with higher charges and increased hospital length of stay only if the patient was privately insured.


    These results indicate that local maternity services may help prevent non-normal births to rural women and, among privately insured women, might decrease use of neonatal resources.

  • Authors:

    Nesbitt TS, Larson EH, Rosenblatt RA, Hart LG

  • Journal/Publisher:

    Am J Public Health.

  • Edition:

    Jan 1997. 87(1):85-90.

  • Link to Article

    Access the article here: Am J Public Health.

  • Citation:

    Nesbitt TS, Larson EH, Rosenblatt RA, Hart LG. Access To And Outcomes Of Obstetric Care. Am J Public Health. Jan 1997 87(1):85-90.

  • Related Studies:

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