Background The rates of Cesarean delivery in South Korea are high among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. We analyzed the relationship between hospital characteristics, in particular hospital volume and market competition and Cesarean delivery. Methods We used data from National Health Insurance claims (n = 53 591) at 51 hospitals to analyze the relationship between hospital characteristics and Cesarean delivery between 2010 and 2013. We performed logistic regression analysis using generalized estimating equations models that included both inpatient and hospital variables to examine factors associated with Cesarean delivery Results Among 53 591 hospitalization cases, 14 425 (26.9%) patients underwent Cesarean delivery. Hospital volumes for deliveries were inversely associated with Cesarean delivery (per increases 100 deliveries = OR 0.896, 95% CI 0.887-0.905). Market competition had inverse relationship with Cesarean delivery (per increase in 10 Hirschmann-Herfindal index points; OR 0.982, 95% CI 0.979-0.985). Conclusions Our findings suggest that hospital characteristics affect Cesarean delivery. These situations might be caused by maintaining profit with regard to survival or competition, and protecting themselves against unexpected delivery risks. Therefore, based on our findings, health policy makers must make an effort to implement effective strategies for the optimal management of excessive Cesarean rates in South Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health