Bill addressing clinical privileges for midwives advances

Lawmakers advanced a bill to select file Feb. 4 that would prevent denial of privileges to individuals based solely on their classification as certified nurse midwives.

LB68, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Tony Fulton, would add certified nurse midwives (CNM) to the list of practitioners who cannot be denied clinical privileges based on their credential by any hospital licensed under the Health Care Facility Licensure Act.

Currently, a certified nurse midwife who has a practice agreement with a supervising physician may practice midwifery at the physician’s office or at a facility where he or she has been granted privileges, Fulton said. LB68 does not require hospitals to grant privileges to a CNM, he said, but would prevent hospitals from denying the right to practice based solely on a CNM credential.

“Hospitals remain in control of granting privileges,” he said.

Malcolm Sen. Ken Haar spoke in support of the bill, saying it would make access to midwives an option for more women in Nebraska.

“[Midwifery] has worked well for centuries … and it’s working well for many states around the country,” he said. “It’s a choice that I believe women should have.”

The bill advanced from general file on a 40-0 vote.

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