How one hospital balances fewer C-sections, more risk

    Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach

    Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach

    The obstetricians at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California, had a choice to make: cut the number of C-sections they were performing, or lose a big insurer from their network.

    Their C-section rate was 38 percent, and the state average was 33 percent.

    To make that happen, the hospital administrators did something that many found controversial — they released data surrounding the number of C-sections without any doctor’s names, and then released the data with the names, too. That way, everyone knew which obstetricians were doing more than the average number of C-sections.

    Most physicians thought this was an unfair approach, because the data didn’t reveal the reasons that the surgeries were performed.  

    “The saying is you never regret the Cesarean section you did; you regret the Cesarean section you didn’t do,” says Doctor Amy VanBlaricom, an OB-GYN at Hoag. 

    She explains the decision making process of when it pays off to wait for a natural birth, and when it is time to make the call for an emergency C-section. 

    Listen to the full interview above. 

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