January 30, 2013 by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN
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Last December, I announced on my Facebook page that the Joint Commission had decided to make their perinatal core measures mandatory for U.S. hospitals with more than 1,100 births per year— starting in January 2014. This means that hospitals have to publicly report and evaluate their first-time mom C-section rates in order to stay accredited and stay in business.

the doctor lifting my daughter out of my belly and is just about to slide her up on my abdomen under the surgical sheet (another doctor is seen lifting the sheet up).

Do you know about the perinatal core measure requirement coming in 2014?

My announcement was  immediately met with a flurry of comments– mostly positive, but some negative. It seemed like on the whole, most people were glad to see that the Joint Commission decided to put some pressure on hospitals to reverse the rising C-section rate. On the other hand, some people were worried that this new requirement might mean that women who need C-sections would be at risk for not getting them.

I had quite a few questions myself. What do these requirements mean for women and families? Would failing to decrease their C-section rate really put a hospital  out of business? Since I couldn’t figure these things out from reading the Joint Commission’s perinatal measure set, I contacted the Joint Commission directly and asked for an interview with Celeste G. Milton MPH, BSN, RN, the project lead for the perinatal core measure set.

I wrote about my findings at ImprovingBirth.org. Read what I found out! The answers may surprise you.

After reading the article, I would love to hear from you: Does your local hospital have more than 1,100 births per year and fall under the new requirements? Also, are hospital administrators and care providers in your area aware of the big changes coming in 2014?

To read the full description and rationale for the perinatal core measures (Click PC-01, 02, 03, 04, or 05 to see each of the 5 measures). To specifically view the C-section measure.

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