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Statement on Baby+Co Cary (Updated July 11)

Raleigh

North Carolinians should be able to expect the highest level of quality and safety in the health care they receive – regardless of setting. That is especially true for those expecting a baby.

Following press reports of numerous infant deaths associated with Baby+Co’s birthing center in Cary, North Carolina, Baby+Co agreed to a voluntary review of their clinical standards and operations by the NC Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR) at the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Today, DHSR released its report on that review, which identified significant concerns regarding medical oversight and supervision of nurse midwives, the criteria used to admit and discharge patients, after-hours staffing, laboratory operations, documentation, and staff orientation and training.

Because DHSR does not have the authority to regulate birthing centers, they cannot impose any monetary fines or penalties. One area still under review is Baby+Co’s on-site laboratory, where the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does have regulatory authority. DHSR is assisting CMS in that effort.

We were notified this weekend of an additional incident of potential concern involving a patient of Baby+Co of Cary. We take seriously the health and welfare of all mothers and babies and are investigating this incident. We have requested access to Baby+Co’s  records about the incident and will return for a site review, and are ready to take additional steps if necessary.

A copy of the review is being shared today with the NC Medical Board, the NC Board of Nursing, the Midwifery Joint Committee, and the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) – entities that have regulatory authority over the center and the clinical staff that work there.

Updated July 11:

After completing its review of Baby+Co in Cary in June, DHHS was notified of an additional incident of potential concern involving a patient. The Department recently completed a separate review of that situation and did not identify any additional concerns. We appreciate the company’s cooperation during this review.