Protect Mothers and Newborns – Oppose HB 199

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There is, once again, a bill to remove freestanding birthing centers from Certificate of Need (CON) in Kentucky. HB 199 (Nemes) is currently assigned to the House Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations Committee and legislators need to hear from you on the importance of protecting the safety of newborns and mothers.

The Kentucky CON program has minimal, but important, standards for entities seeking to establish freestanding birthing centers that should be maintained. Birthing center CON applications qualify for non-substantive review – an expedited process – where the applicant is required to demonstrate a need in the community for the facility; however, the process gives a presumption of need to these applications. Therefore, unless there is substantial evidence the facility is not needed, the application would be approved.

Any legislation seeking to advance the building of freestanding birthing centers should, at a minimum, require the facility to be under the direction of an obstetrician, require that both the facility and each clinical provider be fully insured for medical malpractice, and require the facility to have an active written transfer agreements with the local ambulance service, and the local hospital.

Hospitals are not opposed to patients having options but the first concern is always with the patient’s health and safety. Removing freestanding birthing centers from CON would be a misguided step in a state with some of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the country.

Please click the button below to call on your legislator to maintain the integrity of the CON program for freestanding birthing centers in just a few simple clicks. The hospital obstetrics community finds the non-substantive review standard is too low a bar, and it is critical for the health, safety, and lives of patients that any freestanding birthing center meet minimum safety, medical oversight, and insurance requirements.

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