NIH recognized for efforts to lower C-section rates

Press release

Northern Inyo Hospital is among 111 California hospitals that met or surpassed a national target aimed at reducing cesarean births, also known as C-sections, for first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies. This is the second year in a row that NIH was recognized for this achievement.

The California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) made the announcement last week on behalf of Smart Care California, a coalition of public and private health care purchasers that collectively buy or manage care for more than 16 million people statewide, or 40 percent of all Californians.

I could not be more pleased or more proud to see the success our team is having in caring for the mothers and babies of our communities,” said Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Inyo Healthcare District.

When asked what drove the improvement at NIHD, he responded, “The absolute dedication of our team to do everything possible to ensure our patients have the best possible outcomes. Several years ago we re-dedicated ourselves to improving our communities, one life at a time, and this philosophy is helping drive our quality initiatives.”

According to CHHS, research finds that after two decades of annual increases, there has been progress in reducing the state’s first birth cesarean section rate. The 111 hospitals, including NIH, that made the Smart Care C-section Honor Roll account for 45 percent of the 242 hospitals that offer maternity services in the state. Mammoth Hospital and Ridgecrest Hospital also made the honor roll list.

The decline in California’s rate for low-risk, first birth C-sections will lead to healthier babies and mothers,” said CHHS Secretary Diana Dooley. “Thanks to the hospitals and their staff for their hard work in achieving this measurable progress.”

To respond to a rapid rise in unnecessary C-sections across the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted an initiative, Healthy People 2020, and its target of reducing nationwide cesarean section rates for low-risk, first-births to 23.9 percent. In October 2015, Smart Care California began its focus on this issue as well.

It’s encouraging that so many hospitals are making great progress to reduce their unnecessary cesarean deliveries, especially well in advance of the Healthy People 2020 target,” said Julie Morath, President and CEO of the Hospital Quality Institute.

While life-saving in some circumstances, unnecessary cesarean sections can pose serious risks to mothers—higher rates of hemorrhage, transfusions, infection and blood clots—and babies—higher rates of infection, respiratory complications and neonatal intensive care unit stays.

Evidence suggests that a woman’s chance of having a C-section largely depends on where she delivers and the practice pattern of her physician and clinical team. Even for low-risk, first-birth pregnancies, huge variation exists in hospital C-section rates. Rates in California hospitals range from less than 15 percent to more than 60 percent. Experts find that variation of this magnitude is a signal of a problem that needs to be addressed.

About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics and allergies, and general surgery. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.

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7 Responses to NIH recognized for efforts to lower C-section rates

  1. Trouble January 29, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

    I’m sure it is to some Phillip. I was basically forced to watch mine with half the neighborhood in there. I’ll stick my plan!

  2. Trouble January 27, 2018 at 8:50 am #

    I liked it the old ways, were the father was keeped outside , chain smoking and ingnoring the mother in law.

    • Philip Anaya January 29, 2018 at 9:19 am #

      Nothing T, could ever match the experience, the magic, that I had attending 24 hours of labor and the birth of my daughter . The only extra would have been that she had been born and raised here in the Eastern Sierra . NIH and it’s caregivers are the best.

  3. Bishop local January 26, 2018 at 11:09 am #

    I had a baby at NIH in the past few years and thought it was a great experience. The place was full the entire time. What would you know about giving birth, Greg?

    • Bishop local January 26, 2018 at 11:11 am #

      I should clarify – it was a great experience, as far as birthing a child goes…

  4. Tony January 26, 2018 at 8:15 am #

    Hey Greg, I don’t doubt for a second that you believe NIH is somehow lacking in labor and delivery. However, I assume you feel this way out of pure ignorance. I’m curious if you’ve ever had an experience with this department at NIH. If you have, I would be really surprised if your experience was anything other than exceptional. As for women “smartly” choosing to go elsewhere to give brith, where might they be going? And if you say Mammoth hospital then it would prove my point regarding your ignorance.

  5. Greg Weirick January 25, 2018 at 6:56 pm #

    Don’t doubt for a second that they are among the lowest in the state for C sections, but not for the reasons stated. NIH is a patient ghost town and women smartly choose to go elsewhere to give birth. How many total births there were at NIH last year would be an interesting statistic to know.


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