Baby+Co. closing Winston-Salem, two other N.C. centers – Winston-Salem Journal

Baby+Co. closing Winston-Salem, two other N.C. centers - Winston-Salem Journal

Baby+Co. closing Charlotte birth center, its 2 others in North Carolina

Wake County, N.C. — A Cary birthing center linked to the deaths of three babies announced Tuesday that it will close next month.

In an email sent to clients, Baby+Co. said that the facility will close on May 15 but did not give a reason for the move. Baby+Co. centers in Charlotte and Winston-Salem also are closing, and a statement from the Charlotte facility blamed financial difficulties in the health care market.

In the review, WNCN reports, health officials said the facilitys supervising physician “was not contacted by Baby+Co staff prior to or during the deliveries of the reviewed records that resulted in infant deaths during his tenure. For the three deaths that occurred during his tenure as medical director, he was contacted days after the deaths occurred. “

Baby+Co closing its NC birth centers including 1 in Winston-Salem

“We have made the difficult decision to close our three birth centers in North Carolina. We did not make this decision lightly, but market conditions and the payer landscape in North Carolina made these centers financially unsustainable,” the statement said. “Despite challenging market conditions, we have a proven track record for our innovative model of maternity care, while saving payers and families in North Carolina $27 million.”

We remain committed to the cause of improving maternity care in the United States because the current system remains broken, the release said. We will continue our efforts to provide a financially sustainable and scalable model of maternity care with our center in Nashville and elsewhere.

Inspectors with the state Division of Health Service Regulation examined the Cary Baby+Co. in April 2018, following newborn deaths in October and November 2017 and February 2018. The facility also had a newborn death in 2015.

A 36-page report from DSHR noted that the WakeMed Cary physician who served as the director for Baby+Co.s Cary facility was not consulted in the cases of the fatal deliveries and learned about the deaths later. That person was later terminated from the position.

We have made the difficult decision to close our three birth centers in North Carolina. We did not make this decision lightly, but market conditions and the payer landscape in North Carolina made these centers financially unsustainable, the company said in a release.

Baby+Co. closing N.C. birthing centers after string of newborn deaths

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.

Tori Scott is a patient at Baby+Co. in Charlotte. She says she did not see the announcement coming, as she was just at the Charlotte center on Saturday for a birthing class. She says the company called her Tuesday morning to tell her about the upcoming closure.

Because North Carolina has no regulations for birth centers, officials couldnt impose fines or penalties for any deficiencies inspectors found.

“Tragically the case we had with the Cary center and close calls at some other centers around the state is a clear indication that we need to provide some kind of safeguards,” said Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham, who recently introduced a bill that would require birthing centers to be licensed and allow the state to monitor them.

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Midwives unaffiliated with Baby+Co. said Wednesday that they hope questions over birthing centers dont taint their profession.

In the review, WNCN reports, health officials said the facilitys supervising physician “was not contacted by Baby+Co staff prior to or during the deliveries of the reviewed records that resulted in infant deaths during his tenure. For the three deaths that occurred during his tenure as medical director, he was contacted days after the deaths occurred. “

“Its really unfortunate that an entire discipline … can be completely disparaged because an isolated incident,” said Cassandra Elder, a certified nurse midwife at City of Oaks Midwifery. “Its wrong and its unfair that our discipline be tarnished because of something we had nothing to do with.”

We remain committed to the cause of improving maternity care in the United States because the current system remains broken, the release said. We will continue our efforts to provide a financially sustainable and scalable model of maternity care with our center in Nashville and elsewhere.

City of Oaks offers patients a personal birth experience with a midwife at UNC Rex Hospital, where they can get emergency medical care if needed.

“I want women to be able to have a beautiful, natural birth of their choosing in a hospital setting because thats where my comfort is,” Elder said.

“Business and birth dont mix well together,” said Deb Fiore, a certified nurse midwife who owns Carrboro Midwifery. “Its a shame, really, but Baby+Co. is not a reflection of the majority of birth centers in our country. Most are owned and run by midwives.”

Tori Scott is a patient at Baby+Co. in Charlotte. She says she did not see the announcement coming, as she was just at the Charlotte center on Saturday for a birthing class. She says the company called her Tuesday morning to tell her about the upcoming closure.

When the state inspection report was released last June, a Baby+Co. spokesperson called the findings significantly flawed.”

“I had both my kids in a birth center,” Baby+Co. co-founder Cara Osborne told WRAL News in an interview at the time. “I come at this from an evidence-based standpoint. I understand statistics, and sometimes even tragic outcomes can occur in short period of time.”

“We remain committed to the cause of improving maternity care in the United States because the current system remains broken,” the release said. “We will continue our efforts to provide a financially sustainable and scalable model of maternity care with our center in Nashville and elsewhere.”

Baby+Co. said in its latest statement that its fetal and newborn mortality rate is half that for low-risk births in hospitals and that its pre-term birth rate was a third of the North Carolina average.

“Our passionate and talented team of midwives and employees have cared for over 4,000 women and families in North Carolina. We are extremely proud of the quality of care and experiences we provided,” the statement said.

“We did not make this decision lightly, but market conditions and the payer landscape in North Carolina made these centers financially unsustainable,” a release from the company said.

Officials said in the statement that they would continue providing care until the centers close and would help patients transition to new doctors.

In 2018, a state investigation identified a number of “significant concerns” at the birthing center location in Cary, North Carolina.

“We remain committed to the cause of improving maternity care in the United States because the current system remains broken,” the statement said. “We will continue our efforts to provide a financially sustainable and scalable model of maternity care with our center in Nashville [Tenn.] and elsewhere.

CARY, N.C. (WVLT/CBS17) — Baby+Co announced it is closing its three centers in North Carolina after a rash of newborn deaths.

“We understand the impact our decision has on patients and midwives and are committed to supporting them through this process,” Baby+Co said in a statement. “We remain committed to the cause of improving maternity care in the United States because the current system remains broken. ”

According to CBS17, the centers came under fire in recent years after three babies died within a seven-month span.

Over the next thirty days, the staff at the Baby+Co Charlotte will work with their patients and their families to identify a place for them to continue their prenatal care and deliver their babies.

When we asked Baby+Co what happened from a financial standpoint, they replied “Market conditions and the payer landscape in North Carolina made these centers financially unsustainable. Unfortunately, low-intervention models with excellent outcomes are not compensated properly.”

Baby+Co was the only birthing center available in Charlotte. Now the nearest birthing center will be Natural Beginnings in Statesville, roughly an hour away from Charlotte. And according to a Baby+Co spokesperson, “the Novant health system is committed to growing midwifery led care in their hospital system. They are now staffed with midwives who can provide prenatal and birth care.”

Brittney Graham, a nurse who delivered her second child at Baby+Co this past January said, “It closes a door that needs to be open because I feel like moms want that experience… We need other options. Moms I know are panicking. This was their plan. Many of the moms I know are thinking of having a home birth now. Coming from working in a hospital, I thought Id never say this, but my next birth could be a home birth as well.”

Catch up: Even as the demand for out-of-hospital birth options like birthing centers continues to grow, the insurance market struggles to keep pace. While the actual costs of a delivery at a hospital are often double the costs of a birthing center birth, many prospective parents are unable to secure insurance coverage at the birthing center. Patients who would have preferred a birthing center birth, simply can’t afford the several thousands of dollars they’d have to pay out of pocket.

“We have made the difficult decision to close our three birth centers in North Carolina. We did not make this decision lightly, but market conditions and the payer landscape in North Carolina made these centers financially unsustainable.

Our passionate and talented team of midwives and employees have cared for over 4,000 women and families in North Carolina. We are extremely proud of the quality of care and experiences we provided. Despite challenging market conditions, we have a proven track record for our innovative model of maternity care, while saving payers and families in North Carolina $27 million.

We understand the impact our decision has on patients and midwives and are committed to supporting them through this process. We remain committed to the cause of improving maternity care in the United States because the current system remains broken. We will continue our efforts to provide a financially sustainable and scalable model of maternity care with our center in Nashville and elsewhere.” – Baby+Co


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