Report: Maternity wards are closing across the country
(CNN) - Maternity wards are closing across the country forcing some expectant mothers into long drives for care.
According to a report by the healthcare consulting firm, Chartis, 217 hospitals in the United States have closed their labor and delivery departments since 2011.
A CNN tally shows that at least 13 closures have been announced in the past year alone.
The Chartis report says that the states with the highest loss of access to obstetrical care are Minnesota, Texas, Iowa, Kansas and Wisconsin, with each losing more than 10 facilities.
One of the reasons for the closures is money.
According to the American Hospital Association, 42% of births are paid for by Medicaid which has low reimbursement rates.
Other reasons also include a low volume of births and staffing and recruitment.
According to data released by the March of Dime last year, more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age across over 1,100 U.S. countries are living in maternity care deserts. That has been linked to an increased risk of maternal death in the year after giving birth.
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