Qualify for a free subscription to HealthLeaders magazine.
Cesarean births are considered more costly, with an average price of nearly $20,000 compared to $11,400 for a vaginal birth. Many groups are focusing on reducing elective cesareans because of associated poor outcomes in the babies.
Lovelace Hospital also has a 34% rate of vaginal births after C-sections, which is accomplished by offeringing 24-hour in-house availability of obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and neonatalogists, Teicher says. "Our group philosophy is that patients have a right to a VBAC," he says.
A National Institutes of Health panel said in 2010 that there was a "troubling fact" that pregnant women have limited access to clinicians and facilities able and willing to offer a trial of labor after a previous C-section delivery because of so-called VBAC bans.
"Many, even those at low risk for complications in a trial of labor, are not offered this option," the NIH said in a statement. The panel urged that guidelines related to VBAC should be reviewed, noting malpractice concerns "and additional research undertaken to better understand the medical and nonmedical factors that influence decision-making for women with previous cesarean deliveries."
According to the American Pregnancy Association, most women who have undergone C-sections can be candidates for VBAC, and most can successfully give birth vaginally. There is a concern for the risk of uterine rupture during a vaginal birth after a C-section, which is estimated at 1 in 500 patients, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
This article appears in the March 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
- Ratcheting Up Patient Experience Has a Downside
- 'Mega Boards' Could be Rural Healthcare Disruptor
- Narrow Networks Enjoying a Resurgence
- HL20: Lee Aase—Who's Behind @MayoClinic
- HL20: Anne Wojcicki—Unlocking Consumer Access to Genetics
- Meaningful Use Payment Adjustments Begin
- Physicians Trained in High-Cost Regions Spend More
- 12 Hires to Keep Your Hospital Out of Trouble
- Christmas Tree Syndrome Season Underway
- Taming Time and Moving Healthcare Data