EAM and The Leapfrog Group released new information on hospital rates of cesarean sections (C-sections). Never before have purchasers or patients had a single, standardized C-section rate to compare by hospital at the national level. Now, families across the country can use this critical information to make an informed choice for their birth hospital.
Of the hospitals analyzed this year, less than half (39.1 percent) met Leapfrog’s target rate. Among reporting rural hospitals, 49.7 percent achieved the target rate of 23.9 percent or lower, whereas only 36.8 percent of urban hospitals met the target. States like Utah and Idaho excelled with average rates less than 20 percent, whereas others like Kentucky and Florida failed to achieve the target, with average rates over 32 percent. This striking variation was apparent even within individual communities. For example, in one northeast metro area, hospital rates ranged from less than 26 percent to over 40 percent.
Michigan ranked 21st in the nation with an average C-section rate of 27 percent for the 33 hospitals that reported data, Leapfrog said. Only 28 percent of the state’s 119 acute-care hospitals that deliver babies responded to Leapfrog’s survey.
C-section rates have been steadily climbing over the past 40 years and experts agree this rise isn’t safe or cost effective. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, cesarean birth is too common in the United States and has increased greatly since it was first measured in the 1960s.
Although cesarean sections are medically required in some instances, these births pose a risk of infection, result in longer hospital stays and use of specialty medical services, and amount to significantly higher costs for families and employers. The average costs across all payers associated with C-sections amount to 50 percent more than average payments with vaginal births.
To view the complete C-section data, along with a variety of links to educational resources, please visit http://www.leapfroggroup.org/c-section.
For more information on C-sections in Michigan, please read the following article from Crain’s Detroit: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20151012/BLOG010/151009827/national-c-section-rate-high-but-beaumont-among-detroit-area.