Nearly Half of California Hospitals Have Met Goal for Reducing Unnecessary Cesarean Deliveries
Still time for remaining hospitals to reach target rate by 2020

Under the CalSIM Maternity Initiative, Covered California, the California Department of Health Care Services, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and major employers – with support from the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) – have adopted the goal of reducing nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex cesarean-section rates in California to meet or exceed the national Healthy People 2020 target of 23.9 percent or less for each hospital in the state. This measure relates to unnecessary cesarean deliveries for first-time, low-risk mothers.

CMQCC’s Maternal Data Center tracks these rates, which range from 11 to 77 percent across California’s 242 birthing hospitals. According to Cal Hospital Compare maternity data for 2015, 43 percent of California hospitals have met this goal. The remaining 57 percent still have two years to meet the target rate. While many aspects of maternal care have improved in California, the state continues to emphasize further strides. 

Covered California’s Chief Medical Officer, Lance Lang, M.D., identified opportunities for remaining hospitals to meet the target rate. Covered California encourages hospitals to work with CMQCC and to:

  • Re-contract with health plans in alignment with a payment reform menu adopted by Smart Care California that aligns revenue and incentives with the target
  • Report their maternity data to CMQCC
  • Improve care with CMQCC’s partners

California’s birthing hospitals, their physicians, and their nurses are leading the way toward safer deliveries for both mothers and babies. Collectively, these hospitals can improve quality and safety and reach the Healthy People 2020 goal within the next two years. Questions and comments should be directed to the Hospital Quality Institute at