In October 2016, Smart Care California recognized 104 California hospitals with an award for achieving the national Healthy People 2020 goal for low-risk, first-birth Cesarian sections (C-sections). While potentially life-saving in certain circumstances, C-sections can pose serious health risks for both babies and mothers. Unnecessary C-sections also burden patients — and the health care system as a whole — with unneeded costs. To receive this award, a California hospital achieved a C-section rate of 23.9 percent or lower for low-risk, first-birth deliveries for the year 2015.

Smart Care California is a public-private partnership working to promote safe, affordable health care in California. The group is co-chaired by the state’s leading health care purchasers: California Department of Health Care Services, Covered California, and CalPERS. Collectively, Smart Care California participants purchase or manage care for more than 16 million Californians — or 40 percent of the state.