Hospitals Closing Obstetrics Units that Hurt Their Bottom Line
By Consumers For Quality Care, on February 8, 2023
According to Axios, hospitals are increasingly cutting back on unprofitable maternity services to reduce costs, adding new shortfalls in reproductive care at a time when pregnancy related deaths continue to rise.
Obstetric unit closures were occurring before the COVID-19 pandemic but are drawing more concern as the need for obstetrics care increases.
Obstetrics unit closures in rural areas have been associated with higher rates of preterm births and out-of-hospital births. Women also find themselves traveling longer distances to access the nearest obstetrics unit. These closures also disproportionately impact Black women living in rural areas, exacerbating the rates of maternal mortality that already exist among Black women.
CQC urges lawmakers to hold hospitals that put profits over patients accountable and ensure that consumers have access to the maternity services they need.