California Health and Human Services

Link to California State Web Portal
Link to the California Web State Portal
Link to the California Health and Human Services homepage
Person holding baby's hand

Cal Hospital Compare Announces 2021 Maternity Honor Roll


124 hospitals met or surpassed the statewide target aimed at reducing births via C-section

Almost two-thirds of hospitals that offer maternity services in the state made the list 

Sacramento, CA – California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, along with Cal Hospital Compare, released the 2021 Maternity Honor Roll recognizing 124 hospitals that met or surpassed the statewide target aimed at reducing births via Cesarean section (C-section) in first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies.

This year’s award reflects hospital discharge and birth certificate data from 208 California hospitals throughout 2020 that offer maternity services and participate in the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC)’s Maternal Data Center. Almost two-thirds of hospitals that offer maternity services in the state made the list.

“I congratulate these hospitals and providers for their work in reducing medically unnecessary C-sections,” said Dr. Ghaly. “With the impact of COVID-19 on our health care community, it’s especially important to celebrate exemplary hospital performance.”

Fifty of the 124 hospitals recognized this year have achieved Honor Roll status six years in a row. All hospitals on the 2021 Maternity Honor Roll demonstrate that collaborative action can lead to positive change.

“Improving the quality of maternity care in hospitals is an ongoing process,” said Dr. Ghaly. “Although we have more work to do, the data shows that we are heading in the right direction. These annual measurements through Cal Hospital Compare help us to applaud those hospitals that are doing excellent work while also showing where improvement is still needed.”

Evidence suggests that the hospital where a woman delivers, and practice patterns of her obstetric team, will impact the likelihood of having a C-section. Even for low-risk, first-birth pregnancies, huge variations are noted in C-section rates at individual hospitals. In California hospitals, these rates range from less than 12 percent to more than 30 percent.

Overuse of C-sections matters. For mothers, cesareans can result in higher rates of complications like hemorrhage, transfusions, infection, and blood clots. Once a mother has had a C-section, she has a greater than 90 percent chance of having one again for subsequent births, leading to higher risks of additional major complications. The surgery also brings risks for babies, including higher rates of infection, respiratory complications, and neonatal intensive care unit stays.

“Cal Hospital Compare is proud to contribute to the statewide effort to reduce unnecessary C-sections by providing a way to evaluate and celebrate hospital performance and show where improvement is needed,” said Bruce Spurlock, MD, the executive director of Cal Hospital Compare. “We invite all California hospitals to use this honor roll as a tool to evaluate and benchmark performance against other hospitals.”

For more information on Maternity Honor Roll recipients, please refer to the 2021 fact sheet.

About Cal Hospital Compare

For more than a decade, Cal Hospital Compare has been providing Californians with objective hospital performance ratings. Cal Hospital Compare is a nonprofit organization governed by a multistakeholder board that includes representatives of hospitals, purchasers, consumer groups, and health plans. It uses an open and collaborative process to aggregate public data and establish relevant measures and scoring.