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Cesareans more likely for women at for-profit hospitals, study finds

Mercury News, September 13, 2010

For-profit hospitals across the state are performing cesarean sections at higher rates than nonprofit hospitals, a California Watch analysis has found.

A database compiled from state birthing records revealed that women were at least 17 percent more likely to have a cesarean section at a for-profit hospital than at a nonprofit or public hospital from 2005 to 2007. A surgical birth can bring in twice the revenue of a vaginal delivery.

In addition, some hospitals appear to be performing more C-sections for nonmedical reasons -- including an individual doctor's level of patience and the staffing schedules in maternity wards, according to interviews with health professionals.