Relates to informational leaflets for maternity patients; requires certain annual statistical information to be presented on the department's website for the most recent five years for which such data is available.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9098A REVISED 03/24/2022
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public health law, in relation to informational
leaflets for maternity patients
To require hospitals and birth centers to make information on maternity
related procedures and practices available on the department's website
for the most recent five years for which data is available..
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends subdivision 1 of section 2803-j of the public health
law to provide that information related to maternity procedures and
practices be made available on the department of health website for the
most recent five years for which data is available.
Public health law requires hospitals and birth centers to publish annual
statistics of maternity related procedures performed at such hospital or
birth center in a leaflet to be provided to prospective maternity
patients. The Department of Health is also required to make the informa-
tion contained in the leaflet available on the department's website.
However, the law does not specify the number of years this information
shall be maintained on the website.
In order for maternity patients to make informed decisions about the
best choice of hospital or birth center for them, they should have
access to data that allows them to understand how the frequency of
procedures at a given hospital vary over time. For some expecting moth-
ers, the frequency of cesarean sections performed at a hospital versus
vaginal births is crucial when deciding where to deliver their baby.
Currently, New York ranks 12th in the nation for highest cesarean rate,
where approximately .33% of all deliveries in the state are cesarean,
greatly exceeding the World Health Organization's and CDC's ideal rate
which is between 10 and 15 percent. While the state average is around
33%, it is important to note that cesarean birth rates vary greatly
across hospitals, ranging between 7% and 70% depending on what hospital
a birthing person goes to.* Further, there is an alarming disparity in
cesarean birth rates among different birthing populations. Evidence
demonstrated that non-Hispanic black, Hispanic/Latina, and Indigenous
mothers receive cesareans at a significantly higher rate than non-His-
panic white women, which is also an indicator of low-quality maternity
care. Access to facility-specific information allows expecting mothers
to make well-informed decisions about which facility is right for them.
The rate of episiotomies is also important to consider for expecting
mothers. For instance, the average episiotomy rate in 2017 for all NYS
hospitals was 10.4 percent, a rate substantially higher than ACOG and
WHO recommends. Similar to cesarean rates, the state episiotomy rates
vary greatly across facilities. In fact, in 2017 one hospital had one of
the highest episiotomy rates in the country and the highest in New York
State at a rate of 65 percent. In contrast, the best-performing New York
hospital that year had an episiotomy rate of 2.5 percent. Access to this
information is especially important for Black, Brown, and Indigenous
populations as evidence shows these populations are subject to non-con-
sensual episiotomies at higher rates compared to White women. **
Understanding how the number of these procedures change over time allows
maternity patients to see trends in a particular hospital, such as
whether a facility has increased the frequency of cesarean sections
performed in recent years. Apart from providing these patients with
useful information that would allow them to make better choices, having
this type of data publicly available is also beneficial for research and
policy-making purposes. Time trend data on maternity related procedures
can be relevant for academics and practitioners interested in analyzing
and recommending better practices for hospitals and birth centers.
This bill would require that hospital and birth center information post-
ed on the Department of Health website must be maintained for a period
of not less than five years. This way, expecting mothers can easily
access relevant information so that they can make the best and most
informed decision for themselves and their families.
This act shall take effect immediately.
* Plough, A.C., Galvin, G., Zhonghe, L., Lipsitz, S.R., Alidina, S.,
Henrich, N.J., Hirschhorn, L.R., Berry, W.R., Gawande, A.A., Peter, D.,
McDonald, R., Caldwell, D.L., Muri, J.H., Bingham, D., Caughey, A.B.,
Declercq, E.R., Shah, N.T., Obstetrics and Gynecology, July 11, 2017.
** "Giving Voice to Mothers in the US: Experiences of care among people
of color and in community settings for birth" (2019). Birth Place Lab,
University of British Columbia.
STATE OF NEW YORK
January 31, 2022
Introduced by M. of A. PAULIN -- read once and referred to the Committee
on Health -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to informational
leaflets for maternity patients
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 2803-j of the public health law,
2 as amended by chapter 66 of the laws of 2021, is amended to read as
4 1. The commissioner shall require that every hospital and birth center
5 shall prepare in printed or photocopied form and distribute at the time
6 of pre-booking directly to each prospective maternity patient and, upon
7 request, to the general public an informational leaflet. Such leaflet
8 shall be designed by the commissioner and shall contain brief defi-
9 nitions of maternity related procedures and practices as specified in
10 subdivision two of this section and such other material as deemed appro-
11 priate by the commissioner. Hospitals and birth centers may also elect
12 to distribute additional explanatory material along with the maternity
13 patients informational leaflet. The commissioner shall make the informa-
14 tion contained in the leaflet available on the department's website and
15 shall present all annual statistical information compiled pursuant to
16 subdivision three of this section on the department's website for the
17 most recent five years for which such data is available.
18 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.