California Recognizes Efforts to Reduce Unnecessary C-Sections
Aug 26, 2022
Sutter Health

As data shows how C-section rates are steadily increasing, California is applauding efforts by hospitals for meeting or exceeding a statewide target for cesarean sections among low-risk, first births.

The California Health and Human Services Agency, in partnership with Cal Hospital Compare, acknowledged 108 hospitals for reducing cesarean births for first-time parents with low-risk pregnancies. The 2022 Maternity Care Honor Roll is part of a series of quality recognitions from the state.

“Improving the quality of patient care in hospitals is an ongoing process,” said CalHHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a press release. “These annual measurements through Cal Hospital Compare help us to applaud those hospitals doing excellent work and show where improvement is needed.”

Not-for-profit Sutter Health is one of the higher-performing networks on the 2022 Maternity Care Honor Roll. The health system has 11 hospital campuses recognized—five of which have been part of honor roll for seven consecutive years.

  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
  • California Pacific Medical Center
  • Eden Medical Center
  • Memorial Medical Center
  • Mills-Peninsula Medical Center
  • Sutter Coast Hospital
  • Sutter Davis Hospital
  • Sutter Delta Medical Center
  • Sutter Lakeside Hospital
  • Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
  • Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital

When complications arise during pregnancy, C-sections can save the lives of birthing parents and infants, but some patients undergo the surgery for no medical reason. These medically unnecessary procedures can expose both parent and baby to potentially avoidable risks. 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%. The Maternity Care Honor Roll acknowledges 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 June 30, 2022 was 22.1%, well below the 23.9% national goal.

“Our teams have invested great time and energy into developing and implementing numerous programs over the years that help improve the care of parents and babies,” said Dr. William Isenberg, Sutter Health’s chief medical officer. “Our programs’ quality and safety measures help contribute to keeping our hospitals among the lowest C-section rates in the state. Those efforts are especially meaningful to us because we know it helps enhance the entire patient experience.”

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