A new study finds that where a woman delivers her baby can make a major difference to her own health.
Researchers comparing hospitals nationwide found that women who delivered at low-performing facilities suffered more than twice the rate of major complications for vaginal births.
For cesarean section deliveries, the disparity was even greater: nearly a fivefold difference.
The quality gap remains largely hidden from mothers-to-be.
There's no comprehensive source that women and their families can rely on to find the best hospitals ahead of time.
Medical groups are working on a consumer-friendly database that will use information from electronic medical records. But that could take another three to five years.
The study is in Monday's issue of Health Affairs.