The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tabulated that 3.792 million people were born in the United States in 2018 – worldwide 385k people are born every day. Tragically, several hundred women die each year due to pregnancy-related complications, and while maternal mortality rates globally have declined 44% between 1990 – 2015, mortality rates in the U.S. have increased 139% since 1987. Notwithstanding the extraordinary healthcare resources, the U.S. is a shameful outlier in maternal health when compared to most other developed countries. The causes are complex, the solutions even more so. Flare Capital’s most recent investment is hoping to address these critical issues.
A 2013 study by Medical Economics calculated that the aggregate cost of all childbirths was 0.6% of the U.S. GDP that year. Childbirth is consistently ranked as the top diagnosis for inpatient stays, accounting for 11.7% of all hospital admissions at a rate of 1,195 per 100k according to the HealthCare Transformation Task Force. There are a number of demographic trends that risk further exacerbating the situation:
- In 2019, 39.6% of all births were to an unmarried mother (more on that below)
- Preterm births accounted for 10.2% of all births, strongly suggesting additional complications
- Rate of cesarean procedures has steadily increased and now is 31.9% of all births (up from 20.7% in 1996), in part due to reimbursement models
- Unintended pregnancies were 45% of all pregnancies (Brookings Institute)
- In 2020, the fertility rate was 1.779 lifetime births per woman, a 0.06% increase over 2019 (interestingly, (Read more...)