Poll: Are Insurers Right to Try to Reduce Elective C-Sections?

July 24, 2012

Cesarean sections are used in one-third of births, often before 39 weeks. Some major insurers are launching initiatives to reduce early elective Cesareans. Is that a good idea?

Cesarean sections are now the most common surgery in the U.S., and are used in one-third of births, often before 39 weeks. Although early delivery can be medically indicated, it is believed that a large percentage of the increase in C-sections is due to the desire for convenience on the part of the mother or the physician.


Because of recent research indicating increased complications associated with early delivery, along with increased costs, some major insurers are launching initiatives to reduce early elective Cesareans.  Aetna is renegotiating reimbursement rates for C-sections and vaginal births. Cigna may follow suit, and may offer bonuses for hospitals that reduce early C-sections and inductions.
 

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