Press Release: Coalition Thanks Policymakers for Repeal of Certificate of Need for Hospitals and Birthing Centers in West Virginia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 29, 2023
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Amanda Kieffer, Communications Director, Cardinal Institute for WV Policy
PHONE: (304)-541-9551| EMAIL: [email protected]
Coalition Thanks Policymakers for Repeal of Certificate of Need for Hospitals and Birthing Centers in West Virginia
Charleston, W. Va. — Today, a coalition of the West Virginia Affiliate of American College of Nurse-Midwives (WV-ACNM), West Virginia Nurses Association (WVNA), Americans for Prosperity-West Virginia (AFP-WV), Midwives Alliance of West Virginia (MAWV) and the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy applauded Governor Jim Justice for signing SB 613, the repeal of certificate of need (CON) for hospital services and birthing centers. The legislation removes CON requirements for all hospital services including inpatient services, out-patient services, emergency room services, surgical services, diagnostic and imaging services, and laboratory services provided on a hospital’s campus, and removes the CON requirement for birthing centers.
“For years, CON has stood in the way of expanding access to care, empowering medical providers, and delivering higher quality of services to patients. West Virginians deserve access to more personalized, affordable health care, so we thank Governor Justice, as well as the House of Delegates and State Senate for enacting Senate Bill 613. This is a step in the right direction for repealing all CON laws,” said Americans for Prosperity State Director, Jason Huffman.
“Research has shown, time and again, that certificate of need laws limit supply, increase cost, and decrease the quality of health care across the country,” said Jessi Troyan, Director of Policy & Research for the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy. “This reform enacted by the Legislature is a vital first step to reverse those trends. I look forward to future efforts that continue to increase access and affordability of health care for all West Virginians.”
“The Midwives’ Alliance of West Virginia (MAWV) supports legislation that expands access to midwifery services and removes regulatory barriers to midwifery practice in West Virginia. We thank our Legislature and Governor for recognizing the importance of these goals and signing SB 613,” said Vice-President of the Midwives Alliance of West Virginia, Monica Andis, MS, RD, LD, DEM.
“The Midwifery Model of Care, as practiced in birth centers, has repeatedly been shown to improve outcomes in low-risk women. Midwife care protects a person’s bodily autonomy, encourages shared decision-making, and values fully informed consent. The WV Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives applaud the 86th Legislature for passing SB 613 which finally removes unnecessary, burdensome CON requirements for freestanding birth centers. We look forward to seeing fewer maternity health care deserts in our state and improved maternal and infant health outcomes” said Beth Redden, CNM, APRN, FACNM, President of the WV Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
“The West Virginia Nurses Association (WVNA) has been a proud coalition partner of this effort to help our midwife colleagues in WV to be able to provide evidence-based, cost-effective midwifery care for West Virginia families by removing the CON requirement for birth centers,” said Joyce Wilson, FNP APRN, President of the West Virginia Nurses Association.
In West Virginia, CON has blocked at least 2,424 additional hospital beds, 25 hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, up to seven MRIs, and 16 additional CT scan machines from being established in the state. This partial repeal of CON will open opportunities in West Virginia for greater access to higher quality health care for all Mountaineers.
Our coalition will continue to work to further repeal harmful certificate of need laws that restrict Mountaineers’ access to health care.