California collaborative reduces C-section rate for first time in 20 years

California managed to reverse its statewide C-section rate for low-risk, first-time mothers from 26.5 percent in 2015 to 25.1 percent early this year, according to a Health Affairs blog.

This reduction may stem in part from work done by the California Health Care Foundation, which gave $5 million in 2015 to help reduce C-sections in the state, where 1 in 8 American babies are born each year, according to the report. These major surgeries, which bring a third of American babies into the world, are often unnecessary and introduce risks for both the baby and the mother.

CHCF funds were used to help build and expand a California Maternal Data Center, which is managed by the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. CHCF also partnered with the collaborative to provide a free C-section toolkit that has been downloaded 4,000 times, according to the report.

Perhaps most importantly, CHCF funding has helped establish a C-section quality improvement initiative, which is made up of three cohorts, the last of which will begin this month. The pilot pairs hospitals who have achieved an average low-risk, first-birth C-section rate of 23.9 percent with those who are above that rate. The benchmark is based off the Healthy People 2020 goal set by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Of the 139 hospitals in the program, 105 are above the baseline.

However, since 2015, hospitals in the pilot have brought their C-section rate down to 25.5 percent this year on average from 28.3 percent in 2015, according to the blog. Progress is not uniform across the participating hospitals, and more work is needed to achieve the 23.9 percent C-section goal across all hospitals.

Read more here.


More articles on quality and infection control:

Alabama hospitals outperform national patient infection average
Infertile women face 10% increased death risk
New study questions efficacy of heart stents for chest pain relief

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