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California Announces Hospital Honor Roll for Reducing C-Sections

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California Health and Human Services has recognized 104 hospitals that have met or surpassed a federal goal aimed at reducing Cesarean births (C-sections) for first-time moms with low-risk pregnancies. California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley announced achievement awards to the hospitals on behalf of Smart Care California, a coalition of public and private health care purchasers that collectively cover more than 16 million people statewide —or 40 percent of all Californians.

Between 1997 and 2015, California’s overall C-section rates increased sharply, from 1 in 5 births (21%) to nearly 1 in 3 (32.2%). During that same period, low-risk, first-birth C-sections increased from 19 percent to 25.6 percent. While potentially life-saving in certain circumstances, unnecessary C-sections can pose serious health risks for babies and mothers. C-sections also cost on average 50 percent more than vaginal deliveries, burdening patients and the health care system as a whole with unnecessary costs.
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