Loss of Labor and Delivery Services at Rural Hospitals Raises Risk for Arkansas Moms

June 27, 2024


ACHI Staff


ACHI Communications

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Hospitals in rural Arkansas are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain labor and delivery services, ACHI Health Policy Director Craig Wilson writes in an opinion piece published Thursday, June 27, by Talk Business & Politics.

Wilson identifies several reasons for this difficulty: increased staffing costs, a lower volume of deliveries as younger populations migrate out of rural Arkansas, and Medicaid payment rates for obstetric services that are 30% below what Medicare pays. Lagging Medicaid payments are especially challenging for hospitals in areas with more low-income residents, he notes, arguing that investing in labor and delivery services is a key part of making the birthing journey less risky for Arkansas moms.

For more on maternal and infant health in Arkansas, see our topic page.

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