Reduce Cesarean Sections

Cesarean sections can be life-saving for both mother and child — if and when they’re medically necessary. But that’s the case in only about 10% to 15% of births. Even so, the procedures now account for nearly one-third of American deliveries annually, up from 21% in 1995.

Multiple factors have contributed to the increase, including a desire to accelerate the birthing process. That doctors and hospitals are paid more for C-sections than vaginal births is part of the equation, too: Total average reimbursement for C-sections is nearly 50% higher than for vaginal births.

For women, the risks of C-sections are substantially greater than vaginal births. Those who undergo unnecessary C-sections face a greater danger of blood loss, blood clots, infection and death, while those who’ve had multiple C-sections can be at significantly higher risk of serious, long-term and costly complications.

PBGH is working to understand the dynamics that contribute to high C-section rates and is collaborating with both payers and providers to leverage payment reform as a means of reducing unnecessary C-sections rates in California and nationwide.