Cal Hospital Compare recognizes 134 hospitals on the 2019 Maternity Honor Roll. These hospitals met or surpassed the statewide target aimed at reducing births via C-section in first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies.
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development has released a new data visualization showing the distribution of awardees across the state here.
Every year approximately 500,000 babies are born in California. In fact, childbirth is the number one reason for hospitalization in the U.S. and California. For mothers, overuse of cesarean sections (C-sections) can result in higher rates of complications like hemorrhage, transfusions, infection, and blood clots. The surgery also brings risks for babies, including higher rates of infection, respiratory complications, neonatal intensive care unit stays, and lower breastfeeding rates.
Beginning in 2015, the California Health and Human Services Agency has recognized hospitals that meet the 23.9% statewide target through its Maternity Honor Roll. 4 The award reflects the most recent hospital discharge and birth certificate data from 235 California hospitals that offer maternity services. Calendar Year 2018 data was used for 213 hospitals participating in the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative’s Maternal Data Center and Calendar Year 2017 data for the 22 hospitals listed here from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. The C-section statewide target is based on the historical Healthy People 2020 target of 23.9%. This target has been used to drive and measure hospital improvement from 2015 to present.
Between 2014 and 2018, the percentage of California hospitals meeting the target went from 40% to 57%, representing 134 hospitals statewide. While there is still significant opportunity for improvement, the fact that so many hospitals have already reached or surpassed this target indicates that reducing unnecessary C-sections is a top priority for California hospitals providing maternity care.