The NCLBC shall exercise unified political power for the betterment of people of color and consequently, all North Carolinians.

House OKs state licenses for birthing centers

July 11th, 2019

— Birthing centers in North Carolina would need to obtain a license from the state to operate under legislation that cleared the House on Wednesday.

House Bill 575 was prompted by the deaths of three newborns within five months in late 2017 and early 2018 at Baby+Co. in Cary.

The grandmother of one of the newborns who died was in the House chamber as the bill passed unanimously.

Baby+Co. officials allowed inspectors from the state Division of Health Service Regulation to review the Cary operation last year, and the 36-page report from DSHR noted that the WakeMed Cary physician who served as the director for the facility wasn’t consulted in the cases of the fatal deliveries and learned about the deaths later.

The report also noted concerns with five of 10 deliveries inspectors reviewed, including insufficient overnight staffing, inadequate monitoring of fetal heart rates and confusion over where to transfer a newborn needing medical attention.

Because North Carolina has no regulations for birth centers, officials couldn’t impose fines or penalties for any deficiencies inspectors found.

The legislation now headed to the Senate calls for creating a Birth Center Commission in the state Department of Health and Human Services to set rules for birth centers to meet for licensure. Each center would then need to renew the license annually.

Centers would be prohibited from providing abortions, performing surgeries outside of “those normally accomplished during an uncomplicated birth” and putting women under general anesthesia.

Operating without a license would result in a misdemeanor charge and fines of $50 to $500 a day.

Baby+Co. shut down its operations in Cary, Charlotte and Winston-Salem in April, citing financial difficulties.

Article source: https://www.wral.com/house-oks-state-licenses-for-birthing-centers/18502614/

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