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Source: 
Prime Time June

Lovelace Women’s Hospital has the lowest cesarean section rate of all the major hospitals delivering high risk patients in New Mexico. To date in 2014, Lovelace Women’s Hospital has a cesarean section rate of 17.1 percent.  The national average for C-sections is at 33 percent.

“We have achieved this by following strong, evidence-based medicine and following current guidelines from national organizations,” said Dr. Abe Lichtmacher, chief of Women’s Services at Lovelace Health System. “Many of our deliveries are performed by midwives, which also helps in reducing the C-section rate.”

According to Dr. Lichtmacher, there is a new cesarean section measure that is being promoted by various regulatory and safety organizations. It is the “NTSV” cesarean rate. This stands for “nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex presentation” rate. This measure is being promoted by the Joint Commission and National Quality Forum, as the rate that we should be all looking at since this rate eliminates those variations related to high risk situations, such as multiple gestation, abnormal presentation, etc. The NTSV rates essentially levels the playing field and allows hospitals to look at cesarean sections that can be impacted by clinical practice decisions patterns that are modifiable and can be improved.

These organizations will begin reporting these rates in 2015 for hospitals across the country. They have set a goal of 15 percent or less. The current published rates from various hospital systems and state reports run between 10 percent and 34 percent.  To date in 2014, Lovelace Women’s Hospital’s NTSV rate is 9.1 percent.

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