The number of women giving birth outside a hospital increased to nearly 60,000 in 2014 in United States', continuing a decade-long increase. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics indicates that out-of-hospital births increased from 0.87% of US births in 2004 to 1.50% in 2014, an increase of 72%. Out-of-hospital birth rates increased for all race/ethnic groups, but most rapidly for non-Hispanic white women.
Out-of hospital birth rates varied significantly by state and region of the country, with the highest rates in the Pacific Northwest, and lowest in the Deep South.
‘Out-of-hospital birth rates increased from 0.87% of US births in 2004 to 1.50% in 2014, an increase of 72%.’
AdvertisementAlthough the costs of out-of-hospital births are much less than for hospital births, high rates of self-pay for the costs of out-of-hospital birth suggest that many women have difficulty in getting their insurance plan (or Medicaid) to pay for services. For 50% of out-of-hospital births, women had to pay out-of-pocket for the costs of their labor and delivery, compared with only 3% for hospital births.
"Mandating private insurance and Medicaid coverage for out-of-hospital births could substantially improve access to this birthing option, now requested by an increasing number of women," said Dr. Marian MacDorman, co-author of the BIRTH analysis.