245678 Mandated Reporting of Maternity Care Utilization Data

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:18 AM

Jill Arnold , The Unnecesarean, San Diego, CA
Nearly one-third (32%) of all births in the United States are cesarean deliveries. Though often lifesaving, cesarean delivery involves major abdominal surgery that many pregnant women wish to avoid absent clear clinical indication. Cesarean delivery poses physical health and safety risks for women and infants; in addition, hospital charges for a cesarean delivery are almost double those for a vaginal delivery. At present time, hospitals are not required to report cesarean utilization rates to the public, and only 11 states make hospital-level cesarean rates available to the public through websites. There is also a wide variety in the data being reported, with some states reporting actual figures while others report risk-adjusted numbers. Only New York and Massachusetts have laws in place mandating the reporting of cesarean sections. Pregnant women in the remaining states are without access to data on an important quality measure in maternity care, and therefore lack an important tool to make a fully informed decision about their health care and place of birth. The speaker will discuss how mandated reporting of maternity care utilization rates, namely cesarean section delivery, primary cesarean delivery, and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) would benefit women and their care providers as they strive to create healthy minds and bodies throughout the childbearing cycle.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the current landscape of maternity utilization data reporting. 2. Assess the benefits of mandated reporting of cesearean utilization across the United States. 3. Explain the importance of data to informed decision making in maternity care. 4. Discuss the way in which access to information can further birth justice.

Keywords: Maternal Well-Being, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an independent public health researcher working to obtain hospital-level cesarean rates for each of the 50 states. I write and edit the popular blog theunnecesarean.com where this information is published.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
theunnecesarean.com Personal Blog write and edit this blog

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.