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May 15, 2018

New Jersey hospitals have some way to go before they achieve an adequately low level of births by caesarean section. In its “maternity measures” survey of New Jersey hospitals for 2017, released today, the Leapfrog Group reports that 20 participating hospitals — more than 40 percent of those surveyed — had a rate of 30 percent or higher of such births.

According to the report, almost 37 percent of births in the Garden State in 2017 took place at such a hospital. At the higher end of the spectrum were CentraState Medical Center in Freehold (42.1 percent), Hackensack University Medical Center (41 percent), and Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House (36.6 percent).

Only nine reporting hospitals met the goal of 23.9 percent or fewer such deliveries. Looked at from the other end of the lens, that means over 80 percent of the reporting hospitals In New Jersey that provide obstetrics services “are not meeting the Leapfrog goal.” Among the hospitals that met or did better than the 23.9 percent benchmark were: CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital in Jersey City (14 percent), CarePoint Health-Hoboken University Medical Center (16.1 percent), and Cooper University Hospital in Camden (19 percent).

“New Jersey can and must do better to reduce C-section rates, which vary widely among hospitals. There are times when a C-section is needed. But, the hospital where an expectant mother delivers her baby should not be the determining factor of whether or not she has a surgical birth… We need all the New Jersey hospitals that provide maternity care to meet the Leapfrog standards,” Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, said.

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