Which California hospitals are best at maternity care? Ask Yelp

Through a new partnership with the California Health Care Foundation and Cal Hospital Compare, Yelp is giving expecting mothers valuable data on the best hospitals for care.

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Most people use Yelp to find the most appetizing restaurants or the newest places to shop — not the best hospital at which to have a baby.

But thanks to a new partnership with the California Health Care Foundation and Cal Hospital Compare, that’s now possible.

Through the alliance, Yelp will show maternity care information for the 250 hospitals in California that deliver babies.

Numerous metrics (which are already available via Cal Hospital Compare) will now be available on Yelp, including hospitals’ breastfeeding rates, episiotomy rates and “low-risk” Cesarean section rates. Additionally, the site will display whether facilities provide VBACs (vaginal births after C-sections), as well as how often VBACs occur at each hospital if they’re provided.

Publicizing such data can greatly improve transparency and help expecting mothers make informed decisions, Yelp notes. This is particularly significant given that C-section rates in California vary from 12 percent to 70 percent depending on the health system, according to Health Affairs.

This isn’t Yelp’s first foray into healthcare.

The site has long had listings for hospitals and health systems, and in 2015, it made them a bit more useful. It worked with ProPublica and CMS to add information such as readmission rates, emergency room waiting times, safety violation fines and how well physicians communicate with patients. Data is available on 25,000 facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis clinics.

“Now the millions of consumers who use Yelp to find and evaluate everything from restaurants to retail will have even more information at their fingertips when they are in the midst of the most critical life decisions, like which hospital to choose for a sick child or which nursing home will provide the best care for aging parents,” Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote in a blog post at the time.

Photo: shironosov, Getty Images