A report from America’s Health Ranking says the rates of maternal mortality and teen suicide have risen over the last two years in Louisiana. UnitedHealthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Peters says we are one of the worst states when it comes to taking care of expecting mothers.
Peters says, "We don't have as many mothers getting prenatal care." According to Peters, this is why Louisiana's statistics aren't as good as other states.
The maternal mortality rate increased 28 percent to 44.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017, while the infant mortality was down 11 percent. Teen suicides were also up seven percent. Peters says mental health is a nationwide issue that Louisiana in particular lags behind on.
Peters says, "Behavioral health services are inadequate for adolescents, teenagers, and adults" in the state of Louisiana.
Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and West Virginia made up the five lowest ranked states. Peters says they all have something in common, low state healthcare funding.
According to Peters, states that have better statistics have better "funding of state programs."
The good news is that the uninsured rate for women 18-40 was down 34 percent. Peters attributes this to the Medicaid expansion in 2016.