Consolidation of Hospital Obstetric Services—Is It a Reality?

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Despite efforts toward regional planning of maternity services and consolidation of small hospital units, the number of US hospitals with maternity services has increased every year since 1973. Only 2 states have significantly reduced the number of hospitals performing < 500 deliveries annually. The average number of annual deliveries per hospital is 728. No state has achieved an average number of deliveries as high as the 1500 deliveries called for in national guidelines for health planning.

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