Acute health care utilization in the first 24 months postpartum by rurality and pregnancy complications: A prospective cohort study

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Publication Date


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Health Services Research


rural, Muskie School, pregnancy, postpartum, healthcare utilization, emergency department, hospitalization


Using 2006-2021 data from the Maine Health Data Organization’s All Payer Claims Data, the authors estimated the rates of hospitalization and emergency department (ED) visits during the first 24 months postpartum by rurality and by pregnancy complications.

Women with pregnancy complications of prenatal depression, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and gestational diabetes mellitus had higher hospitalization and ED visit rates than those without these conditions. Approximately 44% of persons had at least one ED visit within 24 months postpartum and adjusted ED rates were higher for persons living in small rural areas as compared with urban areas; ED rates were highest among those living in small rural areas.

FMI: Contact Dr. Kate Ahrens, katherine.ahrens@maine.edu


Supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R15HD101793)