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TO HEALTH, MEDICAL, AND NATIONAL EDITORS:
Dramatic Decline in Dangerous Early Elective Deliveries
WASHINGTON, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The national rate
of maternal early elective deliveries dropped for the third year in a
row, with the national average for the first time hitting the target
rate of less than five percent, announced nonprofit hospital quality
watchdog The Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog). Leah Binder, president and CEO
of Leapfrog, will release the new data at the Catalyst for Payment
Reform's National Summit on Maternity Care on March 3rd.
"This is one of the most extraordinary examples of progress in health
care that I've seen in my career," said Binder. "It shows that public
reporting can galvanize change, and that saves lives."
Early elective deliveries - inductions or cesarean
(C-section) procedures performed prior to 39 completed weeks gestation
without medical necessity - carry risks to babies and mothers. They
can also result in NICU admissions, increased length of stay, and
higher costs to patients and payers. The American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has advised against these
deliveries for more than 30 years.
The results from the group's 2013 Leapfrog Hospital Survey show a
sharp decline in early elective deliveries since Leapfrog became the
first to publicly report on this vital maternity care measure four
years ago. The national average of 4.6 percent in 2013 stands in sharp
contrast to the national average of 17 percent in 2010.
Year-over-year, the results have also been impressive, with the rate
of early elective deliveries cut in half from 2012 alone (11.2
percent). In 2013, 71 percent of the reporting hospitals met
Leapfrog's early elective deliveries target rate of less than five
percent, compared to 46 percent of hospitals in the 2012
survey. Leapfrog is also reporting a spike in its survey
participation, with 969 hospitals reporting on early elective
deliveries in 2013, up 200 hospitals from last year.
Leapfrog was the first to publicly report rates of early elective
deliveries by hospital. That public reporting accelerated longstanding
efforts by a network of organizations working to eliminate unnecessary
deliveries, including the Catalyst for Payment Reform, the National
Business Group on Health and the March of Dimes. At the Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services, both the Partnership for Patients
Program and the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative
identified early elective deliveries as a top priority issue early in
2012, and have both aligned their resources to achieving these
The 2013 data reveals that the vast majority of states are now
reporting early elective delivery average rates of less than 10
percent, with standouts like California, Colorado, Maine and
Massachusetts boasting rates at three percent or lower. Binder
highlights dramatic improvements from states like South Carolina where
quality improvement actions and payment reform penalties by government
and private sector stakeholders are effectively discouraging the
practice of early elective deliveries. Despite nationwide and
statewide successes, she notes widespread variation still exists.
"Some hospitals are still reporting early elective delivery rates
higher than 20 and 30 percent, which means there is still work to be
done," added Binder.
A leader in maternity care data, Leapfrog this year begins collecting
data on cesarean section rates for hospitals reporting at least 50
births annually. Hospital rates of nulliparous term singleton vertex
(NTSV) cesarean section delivery will be publicly reported on the
Leapfrog Hospital Survey Results website (www.leapfroggroup.org/cp) in
"Just as we've seen early elective delivery rates drop after Leapfrog
began publicly reporting them, we hope to spur national efforts to
bring down the rate of C-sections," says Binder.
Rates of early elective deliveries by hospital, as well as statewide
averages, are publicly available on
To live stream Leah Binder's announcement at the Catalyst for Payment
Reform's National Summit on Maternity Care on March 3rd at 11 a.m. ET,
register at: http://catalyzepaymentreform.givezooks.com/.
About The Leapfrog Group The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is
a national nonprofit organization using the collective leverage of
large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements
in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for
Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to
structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest
performing hospitals, and the Hospital Safety Score
(www.hospitalsafetyscore.org) publishes letter grades rating hospitals
on how safe they are for patients. The Leapfrog Group was founded in
November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national
funders and is now independently operated with support from its
purchaser and other members.
CONTACT: Erica Mobley
The Leapfrog Group
Stern + Associates (on behalf of
The Leapfrog Group)
SOURCE The Leapfrog Group
/Web Site: http://www.leapfroggroup.org
CO: The Leapfrog Group; Catalyst for Payment Reform's National Summit on Maternity Care
ST: District of Columbia
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0000 03/03/2014 12:47:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
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