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Joint Commission to Publicly Report Hospitals with High Rates of C-Section

The Joint Commission will begin reporting hospitals that have consistently high rates of Caesarean sections on its Quality Check website in July 2020.

The “high rate” designation will be based on hospitals’ rates on the perinatal care (PC) Cesarean Birth measure PC-02 they report to The Joint Commission. It measures the rates of cesarean births among a subset of the general obstetric population of low-risk women having their first birth with a term, singleton baby in a vertex position (NTSV).

Three criteria will determine whether a hospital is identified as having a high rate based on data reported for 2018 and 2019:

  1. ≥30 cases reported in both years
  2. PC-02 rate >30% for the current year 
  3. Overall two-year average PC-02 rate >30%

Approximately 20 percent of hospitals met these three criteria using 2016–2017 data. Hospitals accredited by TJC are already required to report that data to the accreditor, but this will be the first time the data will be visible to the public.

The Joint Commission decided to move forward in reporting high C-section rates after conducting analyses that showed no improvement in C-section rates over the last several years—along with new evidence that hospitals can safely reduce their cesarean section rates without an increase in neonatal complications, and new guidance from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology on reducing cesarean section rates. 

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