When it comes to maternal care, women living in rural areas in the U.S. face higher mortality and morbidity rates than those living in urban areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that rural areas had a pregnancy-related mortality ratio of 29.4 per 100,000 live births, versus 18.2 in urban areas in 2015. Another study cited that rural residents had a nine percent greater probability of severe maternal morbidity and mortality compared with urban residents.
Hypertension is costly to the healthcare system. Patients with high blood pressure (compared to those without), had 2.5 times the outpatient costs, nearly double the outpatient costs, and nearly triple the prescription medication expenditures.
There are too many factors to count that go into the patient care journey to truly understand which has the most significant impact if a better understanding was available. However, one factor has proven to have a significant impact of a clinician’s ability to better diagnose in order to provide more specific proactive interventions and that is the social determinants of health.