Reducing Unnecessary C-Section Births

Another personal post about patient engagement via NYT, this time about c-sections. Before getting into the details, a quick shout out to our members Pacific Business Group on Health, who are referenced for their terrific work in California, as is the remarkable work of the California Healthcare Foundation. It’s very interesting how they have seen dramatic reductions in C-section rates by making data more accessible, and by sharing it more with physicians. There are lessons learned here about payment pilots and care team roles as well. Notably absent from this discussion was patient engagement; the article emphasized physician and provider engagement. Patient engagement is critically important to address the education needs of women who may be requesting c-sections without understanding the risks (aka the scheduled c-section), as well as the advocacy needs of women who may be getting c-sections despite wishing for a less invasive, risky path. What progress is being made in your communities around c-section rates? Is this is topic that’s gaining traction?

You are about to give birth. Pregnancy has gone smoothly. The birth seems as if it will, too. It’s one baby, in the right position, full term, and you’ve never had a cesarean section – in other words, you’re at low risk for complications.