33 of 49 New Jersey hospitals missed benchmark for ‘low risk’ birthing

The New Jersey Department of Health recently released the third New Jersey Report Card of Hospital Maternity Care that includes interactive data on hospital-specific and statewide surgical births, complication rates and severe maternal birth complications.

The report card, which captures the most updated data available from 2019, illustrates improved Cesarean delivery rates which dropped from 34.4 percent to 33.3 percent.

These delivery rates have steadily improved since the release of the first New Jersey Report Card of Hospitality Maternity Care, which showed Cesarean delivery rates at 35.7 percent. 

While sometimes medically necessary, Cesarean deliveries are associated with elevated risks for hemorrhage, infection, complications from anesthesia, future pregnancy complications and infant respiratory problems.

Additionally, in 2019, the national target for surgical/Cesarean birth rates by hospital among women considered at low risk for birth complications was 24.7 per 100 live births, and New Jersey’s rate was above that target at 26.7 per 100 live births.

Sixteen out of 49 New Jersey birthing hospitals met that benchmark, which is an improvement over the last report when only 10 of those hospitals met that benchmark.

However, disparities persist among Black and Hispanic mothers in New Jersey. The rate for these complications were more than double for non-Hispanic Black mothers than non-Hispanic White mothers.

Non-Hispanic Black mothers had the highest rate of severe maternal morbidity with transfusion at a rate of 35.6 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations, while the rate for non-Hispanic White mothers was the lowest at 13.6 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations.

This is an improvement from the 2018 report card, which indicated a severe maternal morbidity with a transfusion rate of 37.7 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations among non-Hispanic Black mothers.

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