Hospitals fail to meet maternity care performance targets, Leapfrog report says

The Leapfrog Group has published its 2016 Maternity Care Repot, which shows hospitals have improved episiotomy and early elective delivery rates, but many organizations are still falling short of national performance targets for maternal care quality metrics.

The data in the report is based on results from the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey of 1,750 U.S. hospitals. The data covers hospitalizations for privately insured women ages 19 to 44.

Highlighted below are five major findings from the 2016 Maternity Care Repot.

1. At more than two-thirds (68 percent) of the hospitals surveyed, the episiotomy rate was higher than Leapfrog's target rate of 5 percent or less.

2. Sixty percent of the hospitals reported cesarean section rates that surpassed Leapfrog's target rate of 23.9 percent. Additionally, the C-section rates varied considerably, ranging from as low as 10 percent to as high as 54 percent in one east coast city.

3. Across the U.S., rates of early elective deliveries — defined as inductions or C-sections performed before 39 weeks gestation without medical necessity — are on the decline. Four out of five hospitals met Leapfrog's target of 5 percent in this most recent report.

4. The nationwide early elective delivery rate actually dropped to a record low, with an average rate of 2.8 percent, representing a huge improvement from the average rate of 17 percent Leapfrog first reported in 2010.

5. The majority (78 percent) of hospitals performing high-risk deliveries do not meet Leapfrog's standard of having an experienced neonatal intensive care unit on-site. When a hospital doesn't have one, it can put very low birth weight infants born with complications at risk.

"This report underscores the importance of understanding the risks associated with specific delivery choices and of improving the quality of care during birth for the wellbeing of both mothers and their babies," said Kristin Torres Mowat, senior vice president of plan development and data operations at Castlight Health, the organization that provided the analysis for the Leapfrog report.

To access the full report, click here.



More articles on maternal care:
Riley Hospital to offer maternity services
Dameron Hospital closes maternal health services, affecting 70 workers
A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital plans to eliminate labor and delivery services

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