See which PA medical centers provide the best maternity care

See which PA medical centers provide the best maternity care

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Which Pennsylvania hospitals offer the best maternity care? Twenty-two facilities earned top marks from U.S. News and World Report.

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Nearly two dozen Pennsylvania hospitals received high marks for the quality of their maternity care, according to a new report released Tuesday.

U.S. News and World Report surveyed 680 hospitals across the country to determine their ability to care for patients with “uncomplicated” pregnancies, or those in which the patient is healthy and requires only routine care. These hospitals were then recognized as “high-performing” or “not high-performing” based on several data points, including unexpected newborn complications and C-section delivery rates.

Here’s what you need to know about Pennsylvania’s top hospitals for maternity care, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Which Pennsylvania hospitals offer the best maternity care?

According to U.S. News and World Report’s survey, 22 Pennsylvania hospitals can say they offer “high-performing” maternity care.

The full list of these hospitals is included below.

  • Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
  • Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital
  • Independence Health System Westmoreland Hospital
  • Jefferson Health — Abington Hospital
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital — Cedar Crest
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital — Hazelton
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital — Pocono
  • Main Line Health Paoli Hospital
  • Main Line Health Riddle Hospital
  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • UPMC Altoona
  • UPMC Carlisle
  • UPMC Harrisburg
  • UPMC Horizon
  • UPMC Lititz
  • UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital
  • UPMC Memorial
  • UPMC Williamsport
  • WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital
  • WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital
  • WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital
  • West Penn Hospital

In a statement shared with the Centre Daily Times, Geisinger Health officials said U.S. News and World Report’s recognition affirms the network’s goal of delivering high-quality maternity care across its facilities.

“This type of recognition validates the care that all the nurses and providers strive to give each day,” said Brenda Albertson, Geisinger Bloomsburg’s operations manager for nursing, in a written statement. “Each member of our care team contributes to the superb care that our patients receive. The team has so much passion for the care they provide and are getting the recognition they deserve.”

Which hospitals did not fare as well on this review?

Twenty-one other Pennsylvania hospitals submitted data to U.S. News and World report and did not produce a score on par with other centers offering high-performing maternity care. The full list of those facilities is available below.

  • Doylestown Hospital
  • Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia
  • Forbes Hospital
  • Geisinger Community Medical Center
  • Geisinger Lewistown Hospital
  • Geisinger Medical Center
  • Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center
  • Jefferson Health — Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
  • Jefferson Hospital — Jefferson Hills
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital — Schuylkill South Jackson Street
  • Main Line Health Bryn Mawr Hospital
  • Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center
  • Phoenixville Hospital
  • Reading Hospital
  • St. Clair Hospital
  • St. Vincent Hospital — Erie
  • UPMC Hamot
  • UPMC Hanover
  • UPMC Northwest
  • WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital
  • WellSpan York Hospital

Qualifications for “high-performing” hospitals may change from year to year, and variation is expected within U.S. News and World Report’s rankings, the outlet says.

According to this year’s methodology report, a few changes were implemented to the latest survey. Notably, hospitals were required to submit service availability and performance data from the full 2021 calendar year after previously having the option in 2022 to submit partial-year data if the coronavirus pandemic affected services or data collection in the 2020 calendar year.

What determines maternity care rankings?

U.S. News and World Report annually asks hospitals to complete a comprehensive survey that seeks to gauge how they treat and support uncomplicated pregnancies.

According to this year’s methodology report, hospitals were instructed to report data from the 2021 calendar year. Ultimately, 311 of the 680 evaluated hospitals were found to offer high-performing care.

U.S. News and World Report measured each hospital’s maternity care by evaluating the following measures:

  • C-section delivery rates, which quantify the proportion of low-risk patients who underwent a C-section. These operations generally carry more risk of complication than vaginal delivery and, in this case, are used as a benchmark of hospital care quality.
  • Early elective delivery (EED) rates, which track the proportion of expectant patients who choose to deliver their baby sooner than their due date. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises against such deliveries.
  • Unexpected newborn complication rates, which measure how many babies without preexisting conditions experienced severe health complications like infection or injury despite their “normal” development.
  • Routine vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) rates, which measure whether women who previously underwent a C-section receive the option to deliver vaginally during a subsequent delivery. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests women who deliver vaginally after a previous C-section are less likely to experience birth-related morbidity.
  • Exclusive human milk feeding rates, which measure the percentage of babies who were exclusively breastfed during their hospital stay. Breastfeeding can help protect babies from future complications, according to the CDC.
  • Episiotomy rates, which track how often hospitals perform an episiotomy, during which a cut is made at the vaginal opening during childbirth. A high-performing hospital should have a low rate, according to the methodology report.
  • Birthing-friendly practice, which reflects how hospitals have “demonstrated their commitment to improving maternal outcomes” through initiatives that seek to reduce maternal morbidity.
  • Transparency on racial and ethnic disparities, which tracks how hospitals log and report race- and ethnicity-specific performances for which racial and ethnic disparities might exist.

To learn more about U.S. News and World Report’s annual hospital rankings, visit health.usnews.com/health-care/best-hospitals/articles/faq-how-and-why-we-rank-and-rate-hospitals. You can also browse methodology reports for each type of hospital ranking.

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Matt is a 2022 Penn State graduate. Before arriving at the Centre Daily Times, he served as Onward State’s managing editor and a general assignment reporter at StateCollege.com.