Restoring Access to Maternity Care in Rural America

This issue of Transforming Care profiles regional partnerships that aim to bolster access to maternity care in rural communities. Many use versions of the hub-and-spoke model in which obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists in urban health care organizations (the “hubs”) provide education and support to rural maternity providers (the “spokes”), who are much more likely to be family medicine physicians or nurse practitioners than obstetricians. Key data points are shared regarding poor maternal outcomes in rural communities such as more than 50% of rural counties have no hospital-based obstetrical services.