A look at Women’s health in Pa. | The Numbers Racket

While some states have enacted policies on their own, laying out guidelines and requirements for paid sick and family leave, Pennsylvania has not

By: - March 21, 2022 6:30 am

When Black patients are treated by Black doctors, they have better health outcomes – but fewer than 6 in 100 American doctors are Black (The Good Brigade/Digital Vision/Getty Images/The Conversation).

While Women’s History Month is a time to reflect on the unique achievements and accomplishments of women of all races, ethnicities, creeds and orientations, it is also a time to discuss key issues affecting women in the United States and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

To that end, this week’s edition of The Numbers Racket looks at a few women’s health care statistics in Pennsylvania. 

Access to Care

Often the first stop in receiving health care, 9 percent of Pennsylvania women report not having a personal doctor or health care provider. 

2020 data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that Hispanic women and those who identify as Asian and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander are more likely to not have a personal doctor and health care provider. 

Women who report not having a personal doctor or health care provider by race/ethnicity: 

White … 8 percent

Black … 9 percent

Hispanic … 20 percent

Asian and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander … 19 percent

Among women who reported not seeing a doctor in the past 12 months due to cost, Hispanic and Black women in Pennsylvania were more likely than their white counterparts to report not doing so. 

Women who report not seeing a doctor in the past 12 months due to costs by race/ethnicity:

White … 7 percent

Black … 10 percent

Hispanic … 13 percent

Note: Races or ethnicities without sufficient health data recorded to list a figure were not included in this reporting. 

Births

In 2019, Pennsylvania recorded a total of 134,230 births statewide. 

According to 2019 CDC data, the most recent year for which data is currently available, Pennsylvania’s total 134,230 births breaks down like this when sorted by race:

White … 88,710

Black … 17,585

American Indian or Alaska Native … 77

Asian … 6,214

Hispanic … 16,718

A 2020 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that 34 percent of births in Pennsylvania (43,963 births) were financed by Medicaid. 

Health care providers, state officials tout new initiatives to combat rise in maternal mortality

Paid Sick Leave & Family Leave

The United States does not have federal standards on paid sick or family leave. 

While some states have enacted policies on their own, laying out guidelines and requirements for paid sick and family leave, Pennsylvania has not. 

However, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have adopted their own sick leave laws. Pittsburgh’s was passed in 2015 and took effect in March of 2020.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.

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