For Immediate Release

April 29, 2024


John Lyon
Strategic Communications Manager


LITTLE ROCK ― A new analysis by the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement provides a comprehensive look at delivering providers in Northwest Arkansas, including physicians and non-physician healthcare professionals.

ACHI analyzed birth records and physician licensure records to obtain a profile of delivering providers in the state as part of a continuing focus on maternal health. The analysis includes privately insured, Medicaid-covered and self-paid deliveries, and it shows how delivering providers in Northwest Arkansas break down by provider type, age, sex, and race and ethnicity.

“As we work with various stakeholders to address the maternal health crisis impacting our moms and their babies, it is important that we have clear information about who is delivering babies in Arkansas,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “Understanding the current landscape will help us make informed decisions to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.”

Among the findings:

  • Of the 7,541 deliveries that occurred in Northwest Arkansas in 2022, 97.5% were performed by physicians.

  • The remaining 2.5% of deliveries were performed by lay midwives, certified midwives, or other healthcare professionals. The analysis excludes the small number of deliveries performed by non-healthcare professionals.

  • Of the 96 delivering providers in Northwest Arkansas in 2022, 88.4% were physicians, 4% were lay midwives, 5.2% were certified midwives, and 1% were other healthcare professionals. In comparison, of delivering providers statewide, 88.5% were physicians, 7.2% were lay midwives, 1.7% were certified midwives, and 2.6% were other healthcare professionals.

  • Of the 81 physicians who performed deliveries in Northwest Arkansas in 2022, 88.9% were OB-GYNs, 2.5% were family medicine physicians, and 8.6% were physicians with other or unknown specialties.

  • Of the delivering physicians for whom demographic information was available, 35 were male and 34 were female. However, among physicians under age 50, 27 were female and only nine were male.

  • Of the delivering physicians for whom demographic information was available, 88.6% were White, 5.7% were Black, 4.3% were Asian, and 1.4% were Hispanic.

“Our analysis produced a number of interesting findings,” Thompson said. “For instance, we found that while OB-GYNs perform the vast majority of deliveries in the region, family physicians, certified midwives and lay midwives play an important role in expanding access to delivery services.”

An infographic containing findings from the analysis is available on ACHI’s website.

ACHI is a nonpartisan, independent health policy center that serves as a catalyst for improving the health of all Arkansans through evidence-based research, public issue advocacy, and collaborative program development.