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’re one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to taking care of expecting mothers.

“We don’t have as many mothers getting pre-natal care, and following that, once born, access to primary care and regular checkups, our statistics are just not as good as some of the 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 up seven percent to 10.4 deaths per 100,000 adolescents aged 15-19. Peters says mental health is a nationwide issue that Louisiana in particular lags behind on.

“Behavioral health services are inadequate for adolescents and adults, and that’s very true in our state.”

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.

“The reason why some of the southern states are ranked lowest in health outcomes and the measures that are out there has to do with the funding of state programs.”

The uninsured rate for women 18-40 was down 34 percent. Peters attributes this to the Medicaid expansion in 2016.