U.S. News & World Report: The best hospitals for maternity care

The first edition of a report on the best hospitals for maternity care was published Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report. 

Out of 571 hospitals across the country that submitted their data, 237 made the list. Hospitals on the list had fewer newborn complications, early deliveries and cesarean sections than the rest. 

The report builds on the best hospitals rankings put out earlier this year. To make its rankings, the company looked exclusively at hospital data related to uncomplicated pregnancies as well as the following five factors: scheduled early deliveries, C-section rates in low-risk women, newborn complications, rate of exclusive breast milk feeding and option for vaginal births after a C-section. 

“All families deserve to be informed on how hospitals perform on key indicators of quality,” Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News & World Report, said in a press release. “Now, hundreds of hospital profiles on USNews.com feature relevant, targeted information for parents-to-be to use during their search to find—in consultation with their healthcare provider—the best local hospital for an uncomplicated pregnancy.”

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To make the list, hospitals not only had to meet the company’s standard for maternity care, but also needed to have voluntarily submitted data from 2019 to U.S. News. The company explained data from other sources, like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, were insufficient on their own.

“A distinct advantage of creating a composite score of maternity care is that it succinctly summarizes multidimensional concepts of hospital quality in providing maternal care, which may aid patient decision making,” the company's methodology document (PDF) said.

The quality of care was drawn from three categories: outcomes, process and structure. Apart from these metrics, the company also consulted academic literature and leading experts to formulate the measures of quality care.