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Health

Medical Desert: Why Maternity Care Is Disappearing In Rural Hospitals

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Medicaid pays for 50 percent of all births in the U.S. and that number jumps to 59 percent in rural areas.

Giving birth is becoming more complicated for millions of women in rural America. A recent study by the Rural Health Research Center at the University of Minnesota found 54 percent of rural counties in the U.S. had no hospitals with obstetric services in 2014. That's a jump from 45 percent in 2004.

That leaves pregnant women to travel much farther distances to deliver a baby. And there is a greater problem facing these communities as more rural hospitals close nationwide.

Here to discuss rural maternity care are Senior Delegate to the American Medical Association from the Kentucky Medical Association and family physician with Family Care Associates Dr. Gregory Cooper; and National Rural Health Association Chief Executive Officer Alan Morgan