Mammoth Hospital third in state for lowest number of caesarean sections.
Mammoth Hospital was recently listed by the Los Angeles Times as third in the state for lowest rates of caesarean sections among low-risk mothers with a 14 percent rate for the procedure—more than ten percent lower than the statewide average and in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations.
“We don’t want to focus on the statistics,” Dr. Woody White told The Sheet, “but we’ve got to celebrate being number three.”
White stumbled upon the statistic while reading the Times’ story on hospital administrators in California pushing to bring the rate of C-sections, in which babies are delivered by way of a surgical incision, down.
Though for years medical experts have been saying that C-sections were being done too frequently, with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, the necessity of the costly procedure is now being further scrutinized. The Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform reported that a C-section plus maternal care cost insurers $21,307 on average, while the typical vaginal delivery cost $15,259.
National rates of C-sections peaked in 2009 at 32.9 percent, the Times reported, adding that the World Health Organization says the ideal rate of the procedure among low-risk patients (first-time mothers having a single child with its head positioned down, close to their due date) is between 10 and 15 percent.
There were several reasons for the rising rates of C-sections in the prior decade. Not only did hospitals receive more money for the procedure, but it was far quicker than waiting hours for vaginal delivery. Some patients deliberately chose to schedule the procedure, and in the mid-2000s, the Times reported, caesarean sections were made famous by celebrities, some of whom were dubbed “too posh to push.”
“Some physicians do [C-sections] for convenience,” Dr. Maxine Karimoto, OBGYN at Mammoth Hospital, told The Sheet. “Instead of waiting for a labor which can take hours, they can do a C-section and it’s done in one hour.”
However, direct pressure from insurers, who are now looking at ways to curb costs, and a cultural shift among some mothers have resulted in hospitals asking women to labor longer and some centers even hiring birth coaches.