Hospitals Clamp Down On Early Elective Births : Shots – Health News : NPR

Hospitals Clamp Down On Early Elective Births : Shots – Health News : NPR.

For decades, doctors have been warned about the dangers of delivering babies early without a medical reason. But the practice remained stubbornly persistent.

Now, with pressure on doctors and hospitals from the federal government, private and public insurers and patient advocacy groups, the rate of elective deliveries before 39 weeks is dropping significantly, according to latest hospital survey from The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of some of the nation’s largest corporations that buy health benefits for their employees.

The national average of elective early deliveries fell to about 11 percent last year from 14 percent in 2011 and 18 percent in 2010. Nearly 800 U.S. hospitals report their data to Leapfrog, about a third of U.S. facilities offering maternity services…..

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