Send to

Choose Destination
J Rural Health. 2005 Spring;21(2):158-66.

Delivery complications associated with prenatal care access for Medicaid-insured mothers in rural and urban hospitals.

Author information

Department of Health Services Policy and Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.



Pregnancy complications affect many women. It is likely that some complications can be avoided through routine primary and prenatal care of reasonable quality.


The authors examined access to health care during pregnancy for mothers insured by Medicaid. The access indicator is potentially avoidable maternity complications (PAMCs). Potentially avoidable maternity complications are often preventable through routine prenatal care, such as infection screening and treatment. The authors examined the risks of potentially avoidable maternity complications among rural and urban hospital deliveries for groups of mothers defined by race or ethnicity.


Data are from the year 2000 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). The stratified sample represents all discharges from 20.5% of community hospitals in the United States. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample identifies hospital locations, but not patients' areas of residence. Analyses, which accounted for the sample design, included calculation of potentially avoidable maternity complication rates by race or ethnicity, chi2, t tests, and multivariate logistic regression.


Within groups defined by race or ethnicity, unadjusted rates for potentially avoidable maternity complications did not differ significantly by hospital location. Holding other factors constant, potentially avoidable maternity complications were less common in rural hospitals than in urban hospitals (odds ratio, 0.78; CI, 0.62 to 0.99). In rural hospitals, African Americans had notably higher risk for potentially avoidable maternity complications than did non-Hispanic whites (odds ratio, 1.72; CI, 1.26 to 2.36). In urban hospitals, risk of potentially avoidable maternity complications was not significantly higher for African Americans. Hispanics and Asians had notably lower risks of potentially avoidable maternity complications in urban hospitals than did non-Hispanic whites.


Providers and policymakers should work to reduce the risks of potentially avoidable maternity complications for African American women in rural areas who are insured by Medicaid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center