The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced Jackson Hospital as one of 19 Florida hospitals in 2018 that achieved the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) Maternal and Child Health goal focused on reducing cesarean section deliveries for first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies. AHCA and DOH announced the recognition awards to hospitals at the Florida Hospital Association’s annual meeting on Oct. 24, during the Celebration of Achievement in Quality and Service Awards Ceremony.
Once a woman has a cesarean, she has a greater chance of having a C-section for subsequent births, increasing her risk of major birth complications. For the baby, some of the consequences can include a longer hospital stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, as well as higher rates of respiratory infection.
The goal of the Florida Award Program for Safely Reducing C-sections is to highlight the importance of this health care quality issue statewide and to recognize those hospitals that are contributing to providing quality health care for mothers and infants. Both AHCA and DOH have recognized that the high rate of low-risk cesarean births is a major maternal and child health issue in Florida, as the state has one of the highest rates in the nation.
C-section rates for first-time low-risk pregnancies in Florida delivery hospitals range from 13 percent to 60 percent. In response to the rise of unnecessary C-sections across the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted the HP2020 target of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low-risk births to 23.9 percent.
Jackson Hospital’s C-section rate in 2018 was 19.6 percent, meeting or below the 23.9 percent national goal.