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Primary Term Single Vertex C-section rate

Supplemental Information
Why is this a priority?

C-section rates in Washington State rose rapidly starting in 1996 and have plateaued in recent years. For most low-risk pregnancies, cesarean delivery is associated with higher rates of maternal and neonatal complications or death. The rapid rate increase of C-sections without associated maternal or neonatal complications or death raises significant concern that C-section delivery is overused. C-section births associated with non-medically indicated induction of labor between 37-39 weeks are, in particular, associated with poorer neonatal outcomes. Reducing unnecessary primary C-section deliveries will result in improved maternal and neonatal outcomes.

How are we doing?

WA C-section rates currently at 13.8% and has been fairly steady for last 8 years. Washington State does better than the US overall in terms of C-section rates. The WA and US trends for C-sections are very similar. One of the improvements that needs to be made is reducing the wide variation between hospitals.

What are we working on?
  1. Publicly reporting statewide, hospital-specific C-section rates (ongoing)
  2. Requiring Medicaid Managed Care Organizations to undertake coordinated and specific QI efforts to reduce unnecessary C-sections in their contracted hospitals and provider networks (ongoing)
  3. Disseminating a compendium of evidence-based best practices with respect to OB care and delivery (ongoing)
  4. Partnering with DOH in support of WSHA's Safe Deliveries Roadmap Initiative (ongoing)
How can you help?

Information not provided.

Reported by: Health Care Authority