Declining Access to Hospital-based Obstetric Services in Rural Areas: Causes and Impact

‚ÄčThis study examines the declining availability of hospital-based obstetric services in rural areas from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, potential causes for this trend and the possible effects of medical malpractice reforms. The study covers the years 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2000, and uses both bivariate and multivariate analysis to control for differences in counties' socioeconomic characteristics and time trends. In addition to the quantitative analyses performed in the study, discussions with hospital administrators were conducted to capture local perceptions of the impact of the loss of hospital-based obstetric services. 

This project was conducted as part of the Rural Health Research and Policy Center.

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