Too Many US Hospitals Surpass HHS Target C-Section Rates

<i>Consumer Reports</i> finds rates for low-risk births vary from 7 to 64.6% across the United States.
Consumer Reports finds rates for low-risk births vary from 7 to 64.6% across the United States.

HealthDay News -- According to a new analysis in Consumer Reports, hospital cesarean-section rates vary widely across the United States, from a low of 7% to a high of 64.6%.

Of more than 1300 US hospitals included in the analysis, 56% had C-section rates higher than the national goal, the researchers found. The US Department of Health and Human Services has set a national C-section target of 23.9% for mothers with low-risk births. 

Overall, 216 hospitals had C-section rates above 33.3% for low-risk deliveries, which earned Consumer Reports' worst rating. Florida, Louisiana and West Virginia had rates above 30%, while Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, and South Dakota were among the lowest, at 18% or lower.

Although many hospitals submit their C-section rates to accrediting bodies, they aren't required to make the information available to the public, Doris Peter, PhD, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, told HealthDay

Consumer Reports does not have data for more than half of the estimated 3000 US hospitals that deliver babies. Some of these hospitals handle thousands of births every year. "That information shouldn't be hidden," Peter said.

Reference

Haelle T. "Your Biggest C-Section Risk May Be Your Hospital." Consumer Reports. Updated May 16, 2017. Available at: http://www.consumerreports.org/c-section/your-biggest-c-section-risk-may-be-your-hospital/. Accessed May 17, 2017.

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