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Reporting Proposed For Out-Of-Hospital Birth Problems

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill on Tuesday that would require physicians, certified advanced registered nurse midwives and licensed midwives to report to the state “adverse” medical incidents that occur during planned births outside of hospitals.

The bill (SB 510), filed by Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa, defines adverse incidents and would require reporting within 15 days after incidents occur. It also would require the Florida Department of Health to review each incident report and determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate.

The bill, in part, would require physicians and midwives to report incidents that occur when births are planned in homes. A staff analysis noted that the requirement cold run afoul of Florida's Constitution, which guarantees the right to privacy. But Young said she wasn't worried, saying the reporting is already required for adverse incidents in hospitals.

“These are serious situations that often deal with infant death,” she says. The bill, approved Tuesday by the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, heads next to the Senate Rules Committee.

A similar bill (HB 673) has been filed in the House but hasn't been heard in committees.