Midwives in Massachusetts Given More Medical Authority!

by Cassandra R. Elias

In the News: Nurse-Midwives Gaining Authority!

Midwives in Massachusetts Given More Medical AuthorityIn February, 2012, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that expands what nurse-midwives can do -- medically.

While this only affects Massachusetts, other states should take notice.

What does this mean bill mean exactly?

This legislation authorizes nurse-midwives to be able to write drug prescriptions and order tests or therapeutics.

What does this do for nurse-midwives in Massachusetts?

It eliminates the requirement of nurse-midwives to practice as a part of a team that includes a licensed physician. This is a really big step for those who've used nurse-midwives before -- you know this is a big hurdle!

They'll be required to practice within the health care system and also foster clinical relationships with OBGYNs that also provide referrals and consultations.

What's the big deal?

Those who support the bill say that it will help reduce healthcare costs by continuing to offer alternative and broader-reaching health care.

Governor Patrick is quoted as saying, "It's about more choice for mothers preparing to give birth and it's about helping to control health care costs."

Who can argue with that statement?

Kathryn Kravetz Carr, President of the The American College of Nurse Midwives chimed in as well. "What it does is it releases the physicians of liability of working with us. It allows us to practice in the way we were trained and educated and certified.

This is certainly exciting news for nurse-midwives.

In Massachusetts, home deliveries only make up less than 1 percent of births every year. What they've also noticed is that there is a growing number of women who want to avoid intrusive or restrictive hospital settings if going through a normal uncomplicated pregnancy.

What do you think of the bill? Shout it out in the comments!

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