California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative White Paper December 2011

Authored by Elliott Main, MD, Christine Morton, PhD, David Hopkins PhD, Giovanna Giuliani, MBA, MPH, Kathryn Melsop, MS and Jeffrey Gould, MD, MPH, a recently released white paper by the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative posits that the increasing rate of cesarean delivery in the United States should be of serious concern both for financial and health reasons.  Cesareans come with risks to the mother, risks which increase with each subsequent cesarean delivery.  The paper also predicted that the state of California, the state upon which this paper focused, could save somewhere between $80 million and $441 million dollars per year if hospitals were able to reduce their cesarean rate. The paper found that the rise in the rate of cesareans is attributable to many factors, including medico-legal concerns, sociocultural factors, increasing use of technology in birth, low rates of VBAC and the increase of scheduled births.  The conclusion of the paper comes with recommendations to reduce the number of cesarean deliveries.  The broad headings of these recommendations are quality improvement, payment reform and education.

For the full text of the white paper, click here.

To read coverage of the paper on Stanford School of Medicine’s blog, click here.

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