Variations in cesarean deliveries associated with payer type

Authors: , , , ,


Objective: The rates of cesarean deliveries (CD) in the United States (U.S.) have been increasing since the 1990s making it the most common operating room procedure in U.S. hospitals. CD may be necessary due to a variety of medical indications; however, it is not clear whether socioeconomic factors affect CD rates. This study examines the association between type of insurance coverage pregnant women have and rates of CD in the U.S.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of the discharge records of pregnant women admitted to U.S. hospitals between 2012 and 2014 extracted from the National Inpatient Sample dataset. The study population was divided into two groups according to insurance coverage (public vs private). Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between type of insurance and CD rates while controlling for an array of demographic, medical, social and behavioral confounding factors.

Results: 12,450,349 subjects were included in the analysis, of those, 29.9% had a CD. 82.6% of women are between 18-34 years old and 49.5% are Caucasians. 48.9% of women have private insurance. Women with private insurance received a higher percentage of cesarean deliveries (31.8%) compared to women with public insurance (28.3%), adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.30 (CI: 1.29-1.30, p<0.001). This ratio was more significant in AMA women (aOR: 1.37) but not among teenagers. Although, higher in all race/ethnicity groups, African American, Hispanic and Native American women have more significant association to receive CD when covered by private insurance compared to Caucasian women. Giving birth at an urban-teaching hospital was associated with a higher CD rate (31.9% vs. 27.4%), aOR: 1.42. Delivery in the Northeast was associated with increased CD rates (32.8% vs. 27.5%) when covered with private insurance, aOR: 1.43, while in the West, private insurance was associated with less CD, aOR: 1.17.

Conclusion: After controlling for demographic, clinical, behavioral, and system variables, private insurance was associated with a 30% increase in rate of CD compared to public insurance.

Keywords: Racial disparities, cesarean deliveries, insurance type, health system

How to Cite: Dunne, K. , Sherwood, A. , Sheth, S. , Abdelatif, D. & Mohamed, M. A. (2022) “Variations in cesarean deliveries associated with payer type”, Proceedings in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 11(1). doi: