More than 60% of hospitals fail to meet national C-section rate: 5 things to know

The Leapfrog Group has built a comprehensive source of data for cesarean sections performed in hospitals and has, for the first time, presented this information to the public to help patients and families make informed choices for their birth hospital. 

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, C-sections carry serious risks of infection or blood clots and are performed too often in the U.S.

Based on the this information, The Leapfrog Group set a target rate for C-sections of 23.9 percent or lower. Then, they examined C-section data from 1,122 hospitals in 2015. Their study found:

1. More than 60 percent of the hospitals that reported data had rates of C-sections that exceeded The Leapfrog Group's target of 23.9 percent

2. Some states — like Utah and Idaho — excelled with average rates less than 20 percent

3. Others failed to achieve the target, with average rates over 32 percent, like Florida and Kentucky

4. Nearly half (49.7 percent) of rural hospitals achieved the target rate, but only 36.8 percent of urban hospitals did so

5. The variation in C-section rates among hospitals in the same community is striking; In one northeast metro area, hospital rates ranged from less than 26 percent to over 40 percent 



More articles obstetrics:
Costly ER visits spike among low-income women with inadequate postpartum care
Using exercise balls during delivery decreases labor time, C-sections
9% Medicaid births delivered early for no medical reason

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