The Government Accountability Office Releases Findings on Midwifery

Among other findings, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that the number of midwives and midwifery students has increased; in 2021, midwives attended 12 percent of births in the U.S.  Access is still a concern, however. Students may have trouble with the cost of education and a limited number of training opportunities, while insurance coverage is spotty – leaving some people interested in having a midwife unable to afford one.  Recent data show that, in 2019, more than 30 percent of rural counties had no obstetric clinicians of any type.  The GAO reported on this shortage last year, with data supporting an increase in Medicaid reimbursement to close the gap in maternity care for rural areas.