In the U.S., pregnancy and birth outcomes are notoriously poor compared to other developed countries. Numerous factors might contribute to these tragic results, including an insufficient number of maternity care providers and a lack of postpartum support for families. It’s not surprising that many experts believe more access to high-quality prenatal and maternal care could be effective in bringing these heartbreaking numbers down.
According to the latest ValuePenguin study which analyzes six metrics in two categories (access and quality) to rank the states where residents have the best access to high-quality prenatal and maternal care, Texas ranked #50.
Texas has the second-largest population in the U.S. Yet the Lone Star State also earned the lowest overall score in the ValuePenguin analysis.
In addition to having the lowest percentage of women 18 to 44 with health care coverage and the lowest percentage of women with a primary care provider, Texas also has a high teen birth rate (22.4 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19) and a high infant mortality rate (5.5 per 1,000 live births). Finally, the state has the fifth-highest cesarean — C-section — delivery rate in the country.
Key findings of the study:
- Texas — one of the nation’s most populous states — finished with the lowest overall score. Although Texas has middle-of-the-road quality of care, far fewer women have access to it. The state is last in the percentage of women of childbearing age who have health insurance and who have a primary care provider.
- Texas has the lowest percentage of women 18 to 44 with health care coverage and the lowest percentage of women with a primary care provider.
- Texas has one of the highest infant mortality rates with 5.5 deaths per 1,000 live births across the nation.