Effort to block births ups malpractice risk

The standard of care is changing

The malpractice risk associated with early inductions and C-sections is growing, as a direct result of the effort to curb them, says Roberta Carroll, ARM, CPCU, MBA, CPCU, CPHQ, CPHRM, senior vice president with Aon Risk Solutions, a consulting firm in Odessa, FL. To date there have not been many malpractice cases directly related to early inductions and C-sections, but Carroll says that trend is likely to change.

"There is so much information now saying early induction or early C-section is harmful to the baby, and the standard of care is changing," Carroll says. "What was accepted by everyone years ago is now seen as unacceptable, and if a provider continues with the old way of doing things, that can make you vulnerable to an allegation of malpractice."

That risk can be used to drive change in the organization, she says. If the medical staff keeps vetoing the idea of a pre-39 week ban, the C-suite might overrule them once you show the potential liability and other costs associated with the practice, Carroll says. "Insurers also are going to start asking why this patient was induced or why you did this C-section, and that is going to require additional documentation," Carroll says. "They will start posting your rates and pushing you to reduce them, because it's all tied into money."