The cesarean section, or C-section, is the most common surgery in the United States, accounting for over a third of all births. The procedure has been steadily rising in popularity over the past decade, and insurance carriers are fight back against this trend, urging doctors to stop scheduling expectant mothers for surgery.
One reason for the rise in C-sections is that the procedure is generally considered safer than a vaginal birth. Additionally, C-sections can be scheduled earlier in the pregnancy, at 37 or 39 weeks, rather than waiting for natural labor which tends to occur around week 40.
However, many observers believe the driving force behind the rise in C-sections is the fact that hospitals make on average about twice as much money from C-sections as they do from vaginal birth. Added to the fact that doctors are less likely to be sued for birth injuries after a C-section, and the increase in the procedures is understandable.
Aetna, the country’s third largest insurance carrier, is changing its pricing for the procedures and is offering bonuses to hospitals who cut back on the number of C-sections. Other insurers like Cigna and UnitedHealth Group Inc. are considering similar options and are using their resources to push doctors and hospitals back towards vaginal births. Some states have even passed legislations which will limit Medicare funding to “unnecessary” C-sections.
Cesarean sections are necessary when the health of the mother and/or baby is at risk. These procedures are commonly performed when the risks of a vaginal birth are too great, or when the baby is in the breech position. In addition, C-sections are common when the mother suffers from high blood pressure or preeclampsia.
While the rise in C-sections may have the insurance companies worried about the bottom line, the only thing that matters when it comes to discussing C-sections is that the women who need one get one. Insurance coverage is not worth the life of a mother or child, and doctors shouldn’t need to be concerned about their hospital’s bonus when deciding what course of action to take.
In many birth injury lawsuits, the consensus is the same: the injury to the baby or the mother could have been avoided had the doctor performed a C-section. If the push from insurance companies to limit the number of C-sections is heeded by hospitals, more women may not receive the medical care they need.
The attorneys at the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D. Esq., take birth injuries and maternal injuries seriously. We share a parent’s outrage when an infant is injured by inexcusable negligence. If your baby suffered an injury as a result of malpractice, our dedicated legal team will fight to get you the compensation that you need to help your baby recover.
To make an appointment with experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney Bradley I. Kramer, fill out our contact form online or call (310) 289-2600. Don’t wait to fight for your rights after your child is injured—call today to get the help you need to heal.