Birth Centers in the US has provided a great contribution in the healthcare industry. As of 2020 birth centers continue to grow. There are now more than 384 freestanding birth centers in the United States in 37 states and DC. This represents growth of 97% since 2010. The COVID-19 pandemic brings even greater interest in birth centers. With the rising demands of birth centers, more midwives are now realizing the impacts of getting to start their own private practice and midwifery business.
As birth centers developed in various states, licensure statutes and regulations were written and approved. Some birth center laws and regulations have not been modified since they were originally written in the 1980s. At that time, states modeled regulations after ambulatory surgery centers or other medical facilities with stringent requirements for construction, hallway width, and size of a birth room being the same as an operating room. As licensed health care facilities, birth centers in all states must comply with all environmental, health, safety, laboratory, sanitation, and professional licensure standards as required by authorities at the federal, state, and local levels.
Birth Centers in the US are regulated by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC). It is the only accrediting body whose goal is unique to birth centers. Other accrediting organizations review a variety of health care facilities. Presently, 80% of the states have some sort of regulations for birthing centers. States with the largest numbers of birth centers have fewer restrictive regulations in place. Conversely, in states where regulations or licensure requirements are difficult to achieve, there are fewer birth centers. This is similar to regulations for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and midwives (Yang, Attanasio, & Kozhimannil, 2016) where restrictive regulations decrease access. In 2014, the American Association for Birth Centers AABC filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to draw attention to ways in which restrictive birth center regulations limit access to birth center care (AABC, 2014).
Following the standards for birth centers must be the topmost priority of any midwife who would want to start her own birth center. When a birth center is accredited especially by the CABC, the family can be confident that the birth center has demonstrated adherence to standards of quality above that of basic licensure and that the center’s care is consistent with the philosophy of the American Association of Birth Centers.
To start off your plans in establishing your own birth center practice, you should know your state regulations. It’s perplexing to examine the regulation since it differs state by state, you might get confused that other state regulations might not work on the current state where you plan to establish your birth center. Here at Midwifery Business Consultation, we gathered all the information you need to know about your state birth center regulations.
History – american association of birth centers. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.birthcenters.org/page/history
Themes, U. F. O. (2018, May 31). Birth Center Regulation in the United States. Obgyn Key. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://obgynkey.com/birth-center-regulation-in-the-united-states/#:~:text=As%20licensed%20health%20care%20facilities,%2C%20state%2C%20and%20local%20levels.