Consumer Reports looked at 1,500 hospitals in 22 states.
PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend and McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield both fell into the second to worst category among hospitals surveyed in Oregon. Sacred Heart says it is a high-risk referral institution, meaning it takes high-risk patients from surrounding counties.
“Our rates are going to look higher because of that patient mix, but we have been working hard on reducing the rate of C-section for those low-risk mom, and I doubt Consumer Reports has access to our more recent information,” said Dr. Cristin Babcock, Sacred Heart Director of Obstetrics.
Dr. Babcock says of the deliveries last year, 24.1 percent of the low-risk moms were C-sections. The national goal was 23.9 percent. Consumer Reports used billing records to look at the C-section rates for mothers who anticipated a low-risk delivery.
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center released a statement, saying it has adopted all the guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians, and it’s taking steps to eliminate elective deliveries. It also says it’s committed to providing mothers and their babies with safe, effective care.
The hospital says its primary C-section rate is 19.5 percent, which is better than the national average of 23.6 percent.
Consumer Reports published an additional article on the subject.