19 hospitals in N.J. honored by U.S. News for maternity care

Nineteen medical centers in New Jersey were given the highest honor by U.S. News & World Report during its annual Best Hospitals for Maternity Care list, which was released Tuesday morning.

U.S. News officials said they evaluated nearly 650 hospitals that provide labor and delivery services and submitted detailed data to the publication for analysis. Fewer than 300 hospitals received a “High Performing” designation, which is the highest award a hospital can earn in maternity care.

The U.S. News Best Hospitals for Maternity Care methodology is based entirely on objective measures of quality, such as C-section rates in lower-risk pregnancies, newborn complication rates, exclusive breast milk feeding rates and early elective delivery rates, among others.

This year’s methodology includes four measures not previously factored into the honor, including episiotomy rates, vaginal birth after cesarean rates, and whether each hospital met new federal criteria for “birthing-friendly” practices. Also new this year, the U.S. News methodology rewards hospitals that tracked and reported their outcomes for patients of different races and ethnicities.

“Identifying racial disparities in maternity care is a vital step toward achieving health equity,” Min Hee Seo, senior health data scientist at U.S. News, said. “The new measures provide expectant parents with many important data points, such as whether hospitals implemented patient safety practices, to assist them in making a decision about where to receive maternity care.”

The list of New Jersey honorees by system:

  • Atlantic Health: Chilton; Morristown; Newton; Overlook
  • Englewood Health: Englewood Hospital
  • Hackensack Meridian Health: Hackensack University; Jersey Shore; Ocean; Palisades; Raritan Bay and Old Bridge; Riverview; Southern Ocean.
  • Jefferson Health – N.J.: Stratford, Cherry Hill and Washington Twp.
  • RWJBarnabas Health: Clara Maass; Community (Toms River); Monmouth; RWJ University Somerset
  • Virtua Health: Voorhees; Mount Holly

Dr. Doug Arbittier, vice president, service lines at Atlantic Health, said the system was thrilled to be honored.

“This is truly a remarkable recognition of our team’s commitment to providing high-quality care and support to moms and babies in a safe and family-friendly environment,” he said.