A multi-year study of maternal mortality in Missouri found that women on Medicaid are eight times more likely to die within one year of pregnancy than mothers with private health insurance and that Black women in Missouri were three times more likely to die within a year of pregnancy than white women. The annual report was published by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. It found that an average of 61 women a year die while pregnant, putting the pregnancy-related mortality ratio at 25.2 deaths per 100,000 births - a dismal ranking. Mental health conditions were the leading underlying cause of death - many of them were determined to be preventable.
The report identified several factors that contributed to Missouri's maternal mortality rate, including late entry into prenatal care and ensuring rural patients can access adequate care for high-risk pregnancies. Among the recommendations for improvement was for the state to extend Medicaid coverage for pregnant Missourians to one-year postpartum.