Birth Center Bill Passes House Committee
By Jenifer Jones
A bill that allows for the regulation and licensing of birth centers is on its way to the South Dakota House floor. Senate bill 22 unanimously passed the House Health and Human Services Committee. Deputy Secretary for the Department of Health Tom Martinec says the department will establish minimum standards and have the regulatory authority to ensure quality and safety.
"We believe that one of the most important goals of the Department of Health is to improve pregnancy outcomes," Martinec says. "We believe this is best accomplished through a coordinated system of care, and we believe that birth centers can be an important component to this coordinated system of care."
Martinec the centers are only for women who have low risk pregnancies, and must be located within thirty minutes of a hospital that routinely provides birth services.
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