AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIVES LICENSING ACT.
Enacts new Article 10B, Certified Professional Midwives, to GS Chapter 90. Prohibits any person from practicing or offering to practice midwifery, on or after January 1, 2020, without a license, as provided in new Article 10B. Exempts the following circumstances from the licensure requirement: (1) an individual approved to practice midwifery under Article 10A (Midwifery Practice Act), (2) a physician licensed to practice medicine, (3) the performance of medical acts by a physician assistant or nurse practitioner as specified, (4) the practice of nursing by a registered nurse as allowed under Article 9A (Nursing Practice Act), (5) the rendering of childbirth assistance in emergency situations, and (6) individuals present or assisting the certified professional midwife during the birth process as specified.
Sets forth the General Assembly's findings and includes definitions applicable to Article 10B. Defines certified professional midwife as a person with national certification from the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Defines midwifery as the practice of midwifery as defined in GS 90-178.2, which defines it as the act of providing prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, newborn and interconceptional care, with specified exclusions.
Creates a seven-member North Carolina Council of Midwives (Council), with members appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and initial members appointed on or before October 1, 2019. Details Council member requirements and term limits and includes provisions for compensation, meeting procedures, and Council administration. Enumerates 13 powers and duties of the Council, in consultation with the Division of Health Service Regulation, Department of Health and Human Services, and with guidance from the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives Standards of Practice.
Lists the following requirements for licensure as a certified professional midwife: (1) a completed application; (2) certification from NARM and currently holds the title of certified professional midwife; (3) graduated from or completed a midwifery program or school that is either approved by the Council or a Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council accredited school, on or after December 31, 2021; (4) submits proof to the Council of current cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification and neonatal resuscitation certification; (5) has read, understands, and agrees to practice under Article 10B; (6) pays required fees; and (7) on or before December 31, 2021, demonstrates successful completion of a Midwifery Bridge Certificate consisting of continuing education in the specified topics. Lists 10 responsibilities of a licensed certified professional midwife, including the responsibility to provide care for the healthy woman who is expected to have a normal pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartal phase in the setting of the mother's choice and the responsibility to order routine antepartal or postpartal screening or lab analysis at a licensed facility and inform the parents about newborn screening. Directs a midwife licensed under Article 10B to display the license at all times in a conspicuous place where the midwife is practicing. Sets forth provisions for license renewal, periods of lapsed licensure, and granting inactive status. Authorizes the Council to grant a license to a person residing in North Carolina licensed, certified, or registered to practice as a certified professional midwife in another jurisdiction if that jurisdiction's standards are substantially equivalent and the person submits an application and required fees. Directs the Council to set all fees under Article 10B and to pay all expenditures out of funds from the fees or other funds. Allows the Council to discipline applicants or licensees, after a hearing, under seven specified circumstances.
Authorizes the Council to apply to superior court to enjoin violations of Article 10B. Provides that no health care provider will be liable for an injury to a woman or infant arising during childbirth and resulting from an act or omission by a licensed certified professional midwife.