This policy brief describes the extent to which rural
pregnant women give birth in non-local hospitals, and to
analyze current patterns of non-local delivery by rural
women's health insurance status and residential rurality.
In nine geographically-diverse states with
substantial rural populations, 25.4% of rural pregnant
women delivered their babies in non-local hospitals in
2010 and 2012.
Rural women living in more densely populated rural
areas were less likely to give birth in a non-local
hospital (19.5%) than those in less densely populated
rural areas, either next to a metropolitan area (35.9%)
or not (33.7%).
Privately-insured rural women were more likely to
give birth in non-local hospitals than rural women who
were covered by Medicaid (28.6% vs. 22.5%).
Rural women with Medicaid coverage were more likely
than privately-insured women to deliver their babies in a
hospital where more than half of all births were covered
by Medicaid (63.8% vs. 36.7%).
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Katy Kozhimannil, Michelle Casey, Peiyin Hung, Shailendra Prasad, Ira Moscovice