Nine Sutter Health Hospitals Honored for Reducing C-Sections
California Health and Human Services award recognizes hospitals meeting national goal
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Sutter Health hospitals, which have among the lowest cesarean section (C-section) rates in California, were recognized by the California Health and Human Services Department (CHHS) for reducing cesarean births for first-time moms with low-risk pregnancies. Nine hospitals at the not-for-profit health care network were named to the state’s 2017 Hospital C-section Honor Roll.
The agency announced the honor roll recognition on behalf of Smart Care California, a coalition of public and private health care purchasers that collectively cover 16 million people statewide—or 40 percent of all Californians.
The following Sutter Health hospitals were named to the 2017 Hospital C-section Honor Roll for the second consecutive year:
- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley, Calif.
- Eden Medical Center, Castro Valley, Calif.
- Sutter Davis Hospital
- Sutter Lakeside Hospital
- Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center of Santa Cruz
- Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
- Sutter Roseville Medical Center
- Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital
- Sutter Solano Medical Center
“Over the last decade, Sutter Health has developed and implemented many programs to improve the care and safety of mothers and babies through pregnancy, labor and delivery,” said Sutter Health Chief Medical Officer Stephen Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D. “We’ve worked hard to enhance quality and safety at our hospitals to ensure we have among the lowest C-section rates in California—so it’s especially gratifying to receive recognition for leadership in this area.”
Nearly one of three American babies enters the world through a surgical birth. Cesarean delivery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States. When complications arise during pregnancy, C-sections can save the lives of mothers and infants, but some women undergo the surgery for no medical reason, exposing both mother and baby to potentially avoidable complications.
Even for low-risk, first-birth pregnancies, there is a huge variation in hospital C-section rates. Rates in California hospitals range from less than 15 percent to more than 60 percent. To respond to the rise in unnecessary C-sections, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted the Healthy People 2020 target of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low-risk, first-births to 23.9 percent. The Smart Care California honor roll acknowledge hospitals that have achieved—and in many cases gone beyond—that goal. The Sutter Health system NTSV C-section Rate for a rolling 12 months ending November 30, 2017 was 21.3 percent, well below the 23.9 national goal.
“The decline in California’s rate for low-risk, first birth C-sections will lead to healthier babies and mothers,” said CHHS Secretary Diana Dooley. “Thanks to the hospitals and their staff for their hard work in achieving this measurable progress.”
Sutter Health has actively worked on lowering its C-section rates since 1999, when the Northern California health system launched the First Pregnancy and Delivery (FPAD) program whose results were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2006.