IMPORTANCE: Based on older analyses, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that cesarean delivery rates should not exceed 10 to 15 per 100 live births to optimize maternal and neonatal outcomes.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the contemporary relationship between national levels of cesarean delivery and maternal and neonatal mortality.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional, ecological study estimating annual cesarean delivery rates from data collected during 2005 to 2012 for all 194 WHO member states. The year of analysis was 2012. Cesarean delivery rates were available for 54 countries for 2012. For the 118 countries for which 2012 data were not available, the 2012 cesarean delivery rate was imputed from other years. For the 22 countries for which no cesarean rate data were available, the rate was imputed from total health expenditure per capita, fertility rate, life expectancy, percent of urban population, and geographic region.
EXPOSURES: Cesarean delivery rate.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The relationship between population-level cesarean delivery rate and maternal mortality ratios (maternal death from pregnancy related causes during pregnancy or up to 42 days postpartum per 100,000 live births) or neonatal mortality rates (neonatal mortality before age 28 days per 1000 live births).
RESULTS: The estimated number of cesarean deliveries in 2012 was 22.9 million (95% CI, 22.5 million to 23.2 million). At a country-level, cesarean delivery rate estimates up to 19.1 per 100 live births (95% CI, 16.3 to 21.9) and 19.4 per 100 live births (95% CI, 18.6 to 20.3) were inversely correlated with maternal mortality ratio (adjusted slope coefficient, -10.1; 95% CI, -16.8 to -3.4; P = .003) and neonatal mortality rate (adjusted slope coefficient, -0.8; 95% CI, -1.1 to -0.5; P < .001), respectively (adjusted for total health expenditure per capita, population, percent of urban population, fertility rate, and region). Higher cesarean delivery rates were not correlated with maternal or neonatal mortality at a country level. A sensitivity analysis including only 76 countries with the highest-quality cesarean delivery rate information had a similar result: cesarean delivery rates greater than 6.9 to 20.1 per 100 live births were inversely correlated with the maternal mortality ratio (slope coefficient, -21.3; 95% CI, -32.2 to -10.5, P < .001). Cesarean delivery rates of 12.6 to 24.0 per 100 live births were inversely correlated with neonatal mortality (slope coefficient, -1.4; 95% CI, -2.3 to -0.4; P = .004).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: National cesarean delivery rates of up to approximately 19 per 100 live births were associated with lower maternal or neonatal mortality among WHO member states. Previously recommended national target rates for cesarean deliveries may be too low.
BACKGROUND: Reducing maternal and neonatal deaths are important global health priorities. We have previously shown that up to a country-level caesarean delivery rate (CDRs) of roughly 19·0%, cesarean delivery rates and maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and neonatal mortality rate (NMR) were inversely correlated. We investigated the absolute reductions in maternal and neonatal deaths if countries with low CDR increased their rates to a range of greater than 7·2% but less than or equal to 19·1%.
METHODS: We calculated maternal and neonatal deaths in 2013 and 2012, respectively, for countries with CDR 7·2% or less (N=45) with available data from the World Bank Development Indicators. We modelled the expected reduction in deaths in these countries if they had the 25th and 75th MMR and NMR percentiles observed for countries (N=48) with CDRs ranging from greater than 7·2% but less than or equal to 19·1%. This model assumes that if countries with low CDRs increased their rates of caesarean delivery to greater than 7·2% but less than or equal to 19·1%, they would achieve levels of MMR and NMR observed in countries with those CDRs.
FINDINGS: We estimate 176 078 (95% CI 163 258-188 898) maternal and 1 117 257 (95% CI 1 033 611-1 200 902) neonatal deaths occurred in 45 countries with low CDRs in 2013 and 2012, respectively. If these countries had the 25th and 75th MMR and NMR percentiles (MMR, IQR 36-190; NMR, 9-24) observed in countries (N=48) with a CDR ranging from greater than 7·2% but less than or equal to 19·1%, there would be a potential reduction of 109 762-163 513 and 279 584-803 129 maternal and neonatal deaths, respectively.
INTERPRETATION: Increasing caesarean delivery in countries with low CDRs could avert as many as 163 513 maternal deaths and 803 129 neonatal deaths annually. These findings assume that as health systems develop the capacity to deliver surgical care, there is a concurrent improvement in the quality of care and in the ability to rescue women and neonates who would otherwise die. Improving access to safe caesarean delivery should be a central focus in surgical care globally.
PROBLEM: Medical education has been cited as both part of the problems facing, and part of the solution to reforming, the increasingly challenging U.S. health care system which is fraught with concerns regarding the quality and affordability of care. To teach value in ways that are impactful, sustainable, and scalable, the best and brightest ideas need to be shared such that educators can build on successful existing innovations.
APPROACH: To identify the most promising innovations and bright ideas for teaching value to clinical trainees, the authors hosted the "Teaching Value and Choosing Wisely Challenge." The challenge used crowdsourcing methods to solicit scalable, pedagogical approaches from across North America, and then draw generalizable lessons.
OUTCOMES: The authors received 74 submissions (28 innovations; 46 bright ideas) from 14 students, 20 residents/fellows, 38 faculty members (ranging from instructors to full professors), and 2 nonclinical administrators. Submissions represented 14 clinical disciplines including internal medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, laboratory medicine, and pharmacy. Thirty-nine abstracts focused on graduate medical education, 15 addressed undergraduate medical education, and 20 applied to both.
NEXT STEPS: The authors have solicited, shared, and described solutions for teaching high-value care to medical trainees. Challenge participants demonstrated commitment to improving value and ingenuity in addressing professional barriers to change. Further success requires strong local faculty champions and willing trainee participants. Additionally, the use of data to demonstrate the collective positive impact of these ideas and programs will be critical for sustaining pedagogical changes in the health professions.
OBJECTIVE:: To examine the relationship between an obstetrician's delivery volume and a patient's risk for cesarean delivery.
METHODS:: This retrospective cohort study examined patient-level and obstetrician-level data between 2000 and 2012 at a large academic hospital. All laboring patients who delivered viable, liveborn, singleton newborns (N=58,328) were included. We measured the association of delivery volume and cesarean delivery using a multivariate logistic regression. We also assessed the association of volume by calculating adjusted cesarean delivery rates using the least squares means method. These analyses were performed on the subset of nulliparous patients with term, singleton, vertex-presenting fetuses. In addition, the association of obstetrician experience was compared against delivery volume.
RESULTS:: There was a twofold increase in the odds of cesarean delivery for patients whose obstetricians performed fewer than the median (60) number of deliveries per year (quartile 1: odds ratio 2.00, 95% confidence interval 1.68-2.38; quartile 2: odds ratio 2.73, 95% CI 2.40-3.11) as compared with quartile 4. The adjusted cesarean delivery rate decreased from 18.2% to 9.2% from the highest to lowest volume quartile (P<.001). Compared with the volume effects, an obstetrician's experience had a smaller effect on a patient's risk of cesarean delivery.
CONCLUSION:: Patients delivered by obstetricians with low delivery volume are at significantly increased risk for cesarean delivery after controlling for patient and obstetrician characteristics. In contrast, obstetrician experience had a less significant effect. These findings may prompt discussions regarding the role of volume in credentialing and practice models that direct patients to obstetricians with high delivery volume. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: II.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To estimate the incidence of operative complications and compare operative cost and overall cost of different methods of benign hysterectomy including abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic, and robotic techniques.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort analysis (Canadian Task Force classification II-2) of all patients who underwent a hysterectomy for benign reasons in 2009 at a single urban academic tertiary care center using the χ(2) test and Student t test. A multivariate regression analysis was also performed for predictors of costs. Cost data were gathered from the hospital's billing system; the remainder of data was extracted from patient's medical records.
RESULTS: In 2009, 688 patients underwent a benign hysterectomy; 185 (26.9%) hysterectomies were abdominal, 135 (19.6%) vaginal, 352 (51.5%) laparoscopic, and 14 (2.0%) robotic. The rate of intraoperative complication was 1.7% for abdominal, 0.8% for vaginal, 0.3% for laparoscopic, and 0 for robotic. Mean total patient costs were $43,622 for abdominal, $31,934 for vaginal, $38,312 for laparoscopic, and $49,526 for robotic hysterectomies. Costs were significantly influenced by method of hysterectomy, operative time, and length of stay.
CONCLUSION: Though complication rates did not vary significantly among minimally invasive methods of hysterectomy, patient costs were significantly influenced by the method of hysterectomy.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the optimal approach to first-line treatment for low-risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN) using a cost analysis of 3 commonly used regimens.
STUDY DESIGN: A decision tree of the 3 most commonly used first-line low-risk GTN treatment strategies was created, accounting for toxicities, response rates and need for second- or third-line therapy. These strategies included 8-day methotrexate (MTX)/folinic acid, weekly MTX, and pulsed actinomycin-D (act-D). Response rates, average number of cycles needed for remission, and toxicities were determined by review of the literature. Costs of each strategy were examined from a societal perspective, including the direct total treatment costs as well as the indirect lost labor production costs from work absences. Sensitivity analysis on these costs was performed using both deterministic and probabilistic cost-minimization models with the aid of decision tree software (TreeAge Pro 2011, TreeAge Inc., Williamstown, Massachusetts).
RESULTS: We found that 8-day MTX/folinic acid is the least expensive to society, followed by pulsed act-D ($4,867 vs. $6,111 average societal cost per cure, respectively), with act-D becoming more favorable only with act-D per-cycle cost <$231, or response rate to first-line therapy > 99%. Weekly MTX is the most expensive first-line treatment strategy to society ($9,089 average cost per cure), despite being least expensive to administer per cycle, based on lower first-line response rate. Absolute societal cost of each strategy is driven by the probability of needing expensive third-line multiagent chemotherapy, however relative cost differences are robust to sensitivity analysis over the reported range of cycle number and response rate for all therapies.
CONCLUSION: Based on similar efficacy and lower societal cost, we recommend 8-day MTX/folinic acid for first-line treatment of low-risk GTN.
Objectives. We assess whether it is feasible for robotic hysterectomy for endometrial cancer to be less expensive to society than traditional laparoscopic hysterectomy or abdominal hysterectomy. Methods. We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of patient characteristics, operative times, complications, and hospital charges from all (n = 234) endometrial cancer patients who underwent hysterectomy in 2009 at our hospital. Per patient costs of each hysterectomy method were examined from the societal perspective. Sensitivity analysis and Monte Carlo simulation were performed using a cost-minimization model. Results. 40 (17.1%) of hysterectomies for endometrial cancer were robotic, 91 (38.9%), were abdominal, and 103 (44.0%) were laparoscopic. 96.3% of the variation in operative cost between patients was predicted by operative time (R = 0.963, P < 0.01). Mean operative time for robotic hysterectomy was significantly longer than other methods (P < 0.01). Abdominal hysterectomy was consistently the most expensive while the traditional laparoscopic approach was consistently least expensive. The threshold in operative time that makes robotic hysterectomy cost equivalent to the abdominal approach is within the range of our experience. Conclusion. It is feasible for robotic hysterectomy to be less expensive than abdominal hysterectomy, but unlikely for robotic hysterectomy to be less expensive than traditional laparoscopy.