13 Feb Legislative Update Feb 2017
It is vital to the growth and sustainability of midwife-led birth centers to support legislation that promotes access to our model of care.
South Carolina birth center regulations are outdated and do not reflect national standards for birth centers. In 2013, DHEC put all SC birth centers on notice that our consulting physician would need to be available in person at the birth center for an emergency in order to remain in compliance with regulations. This was a new interpretation of the existing law. Having our physician available by telecommunication at all times and meeting us at the hospital was previously accepted as compliant. We are currently able to meet DHEC requirements by following the language in a Proviso introduced in 2014. This Proviso has to be renewed every year and there is no guarantee that it will be continued.
Charleston Birth Place has been accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Birth Centers since opening in 2008. Accreditation assures that birth centers are following national standards for quality and safety. CBP has been working to pass legislation requiring all birth centers in SC to achieve accreditation, have appropriate transfer plans in place, and work collaboratively within their local health care system to provide services for moms and babies that fall outside their scope of care.
Additionally, CBP and the other accredited birth centers in SC, have worked with legislators and other stakeholders including consumers, hospital representatives, midwife and physician groups to agree on a bill that promotes quality and safety in birth centers without overly restricting access to them.
Certified Nurse Midwives in SC are licensed as advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) under the board of nursing. SC is one of the three most restrictive states for nurse midwife licensure, making access to nurse midwife care very difficult especially for nurse midwives who practice in out of hospital settings. CBP strongly supports the Coalition for Access to Health Care’s efforts to update the SC Board of Nursing regulation of all advanced practice nurses. The evidence is very clear removing barriers to APRNS, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives improves health care outcomes and saves health care dollars.
CBP asks all our supporters to take a few minutes to inform their legislators of their firm support of the bills listed below. If you are willing to travel to Columbia to offer support and/or testify, please call us at 843-818-1123.
Thank you for your support!!!!
Find your legislator: www.scstatehouse.gov (link)