Relates to midwifery birth centers; includes term within the definition of a hospital; directs the commissioner of health to make regulations relating to establishment and operation of midwifery birth centers.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to midwifery birth centers
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To authorize midwife-led birth centers
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The bill amends Article 28 of the Public Health Law to authorize midwifery birth centers. The Commissioner of Health will issue regulations relating to their establishment, construction and operation, using state and national professional association standards in consultation with industry and midwives. Services would be by or under the supervision of a physician or midwife, and all in accordance with Education Law practice rules.
JUSTIFICATION: Midwifery birth centers are accredited by the American Association of Birth Centers, which provides quality-control standards and guidelines. They offer high quality, individualized, cost-effective care to promote optimum pregnancy outcomes. They encourage family-centered maternity and neonatal care, and promote and support breastfeeding. Birth centers operated by midwives consistently have low cesarean-section rates, fewer labor inductions, and successful parent bonding and breastfeeding without prolonged separation.
Midwife-led birth centers promote wellness-based birth over expensive technology and unnecessary interventions. They consistently earn high patient satisfaction from women seeking a welcoming environment without restrictions on the presence of supportive staff, friends, and family members. A 2013 study reported in The Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health detailing outcomes in midwifery birth centers across the U.S. from 2007 and 2010 found no maternal deaths and estimated that midwifery birth centers saved upwards of $30,000,000 for the 15,574 births included in the study.
This bill removes the existing barriers that restrict the establishment of freestanding birth centers led by licensed midwives and permits the Commissioner to determine which Article 28 certificate-of-need requirements are appropriate and reasonable for the scope of services provided. All Education Law rules governing midwifery practice will, of course, apply.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7121 IN SENATE April 29, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. HANNON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to midwifery birth centers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 2801 of the public health law, as separately amended by chapters 297 and 416 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: 1. "Hospital" means a facility or institution engaged principally in providing services by or under the supervision of a physician or, in the case of a dental clinic or dental dispensary, of a dentist, OR, IN THE CASE OF A MIDWIFERY BIRTH CENTER, OF A MIDWIFE, for the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of human disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition, including, but not limited to, a general hospital, public health center, diagnostic center, treatment center, dental clin- ic, dental dispensary, rehabilitation center other than a facility used solely for vocational rehabilitation, nursing home, tuberculosis hospi- tal, chronic disease hospital, maternity hospital, MIDWIFERY BIRTH CENTER, lying-in-asylum, out-patient department, out-patient lodge, dispensary and a laboratory or central service facility serving one or more such institutions, but the term hospital shall not include an institution, sanitarium or other facility engaged principally in provid- ing services for the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of mental disa- bility and which is subject to the powers of visitation, examination, inspection and investigation of the department of mental hygiene except for those distinct parts of such a facility which provide hospital service. The provisions of this article shall not apply to a facility or institution engaged principally in providing services by or under the supervision of the bona fide members and adherents of a recognized reli- gious organization whose teachings include reliance on spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in the practice of the religion of such organization and where services are provided in accordance with those teachings.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14664-01-4 S. 7121 2
S 2. Section 2801 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 11 to read as follows: 11. "MIDWIFERY BIRTH CENTER" MEANS A HOSPITAL ENGAGED PRINCIPALLY IN PROVIDING PRENATAL AND OBSTETRIC CARE, WHERE SUCH SERVICES ARE PROVIDED PRINCIPALLY BY MIDWIVES. S 3. Section 2803 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 11 to read as follows: 11. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL MAKE REGULATIONS RELATING TO MIDWIFERY BIRTH CENTERS, INCLUDING RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT, CONSTRUCTION, AND OPERATION, CONSIDERING THE STANDARDS OF STATE AND NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS OF MIDWIFERY BIRTH CENTERS, IN CONSULTATION WITH REPRESEN- TATIVES OF MIDWIVES, MIDWIFERY BIRTH CENTERS, AND GENERAL HOSPITALS PROVIDING OBSTETRIC SERVICES. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.