According to a California Watch Analysis, it has been found that for profit hospitals are more likely to perform Cesarean sections than nonprofit hospitals.
It is a simple matter of generating more revenues, since a C section delivery is more lucrative for hospitals than a normal or vaginal delivery and may generate up to twice the amount of revenue as a normal delivery.
Data collected from the years 2005 to 2007 revealed that for profit hospitals are 17% more likely to perform a C section than public or nonprofit hospitals.
It was noted that at the Santa Clara Valley Medical center, low risk pregnancies had a 10% chance of undergoing a C section. However, at the Los Angeles Community Hospital, which is a for profit organization, almost half of low risk pregnancies ended in C sections.
Low risk pregnancies are those that exclude deliveries by older mothers, women with previous c sections and women with certain medical conditions.
This study substantiates the apprehension that many natural childbirth advocates have long expressed – that it is a profit motive that has an impact on the rates of C sections performed. It lends credence to the view that C sections are often unnecessarily performed in order to ‘pad the bottom line’.