CesareanRates.com launched February 9, 2012, as a snapshot of online cesarean rate reporting in the United States. Updated in October 2013, the site compiles the most current hospital-level data accessible to the public online, whether reported directly by a state’s department of health or gathered from state hospital association web sites via pull-down menus.
The initial goals of the site were to a) show the quality and inaccessibility of information available to the public, b) to assess whether there is public demand for this information and c) to work toward establishing a precedent for hospital data transparency.
About the Data
The data found on this site are the most current state-by-state information available to the public online (unless otherwise indicated) as of October 2013.
This site contains tables of total cesarean rates (total cesarean sections divided by total births) and other delivery method data if available. Unless indicated, the data are not risk-adjusted.
States collect hospital in-patient utilization data. These data contain no clinical information, nor do they have patient or physician identifiers. They answer the question of how many times a particular procedure is performed at a facility during a certain period of time and can help illuminate utilization patterns in larger geographic areas.
Caution should be exercised in employing rates derived by small numbers and from small populations.
Most states do not report these numbers directly on their own sites. Disaggregated utilization data are often shared on outside sites in a “hospital compare” type format which require the user to use pull-down menus to access numbers one-by-one. This may affect the accuracy of the information found on this site; for example, if these sites make a change to a number in their database, the percentage here would no longer be correct.
The data on this site are found on publicly accessible web sites. CesareanRates.com specifically disclaims responsibility for any analyses, interpretations or conclusions.
About Jill Arnold
Jill Arnold is a consumer advocate and founder of The Unnecesarean, a blog which she edited for four years until August 2012, as well as a large social media community of 44,000 Facebook and Twitter followers (not including site traffic) focused on patient autonomy, informed consent, data transparency and other issues related to the U.S. maternity care system and beyond. She lives in Bentonville, Arkansas. Contact Jill Arnold
Consumers Union Safe Patient Project Summit, Consumer Reports, Yonkers, New York, November 15, 2012. [link]
Panelist at the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference at The Hague University of Applied Sciences on May 31-June 1, 2012 [link]
Arnold, J. (2011, October). Mandated Reporting of Maternity Care Utilization Data. Scientific session presented at the American Public Health Association 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Washington, D.C. [link]
Aetna Urges Moms To Avoid Cesareans Births To Reduce Risk, Bloomberg.com, July 2012. [link]
New Website Presents Comprehensive Collection of Cesarean Rates Throughout U.S. Hospitals, Yahoo! News, February 2012. [link]
Birthrights: The Risk of Choice (documentary), Al Jazeera English, April 2011. [link]
Modern Medicine: Unnecessary C-Sections on the Rise, LiveScience.com, November 2010. [link]
Articles and Advocacy:
Consumer Representative, Listening to Mothers III National Advisory Council, 2012.
Stakeholder Workgroup Member on the Strategies to Reduce Cesarean Birth Among Low Risk Women project funded by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and conducted by Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center, 2012. [link]
Consumer delegate at the Home Birth Consensus Summit, October 2011. [link]
Reviewer for Pregnancy and Birth chapter of Our Bodies, Ourselves 2011 Edition. [link]
Author of “Call It A Comeback? The Many Faces of Nitrous Oxide for Labor Pain Relief”, RH Reality Check, December 2010. [link]
Author of “Discussing Your Options with Your Care Provider”, Lamaze’s A Woman’s Guide to VBAC, 2010 [link]
Cited in “Social Media, Power, and the Future of VBAC”, Journal of Perinatal Education, Summer 2010. [link]
Featured in a full-page in Our Bodies, Ourselves 2011 Edition. [link]
I Loved My C-Section, HuffPost Live, November 2012. [link]
Consumer Advocate, Jill Arnold, Talks to Babble about C-sections, Birth Wars & the Way Forward, Babble.com Being Pregnant, July 2012. [link]
Interview with Jill Arnold from The Unnecesarean and Cesarean Rates, About.com Pregnancy and Birth, March 2012. [link]
SuperTalk Mississippi's Paul Gallo Show, Feb 29, 2012. [link]