Best Start Birth Center is a great example of a functioning free standing birth center. The birth center is situated outside of a hospital and care in the birth center is provided by Certified Nurse-midwives/Licensed Midwives. Women who develop risk factors are transferred to nearby physicians and hospitals.
The State of California State Department of Health Services used Best Start Birth Center as its model when the department created licensing for free standing birth centers in California.
It meets the Standards for Accreditation of the Commission for Accreditation of Birth Centers and has been accredited for nearly three decades.
100% of mothers and babies are breast feeding upon discharge from the birth center, 89% at 6 months, and 65% are still breast feeding at one year. Please go to our website for further study details on how we measure up. /about/safety-statistics/
Women of all social, economic, and ethnic groups enjoy access to midwifery maternity care. Low income women and their families comprise 50% of the birth center’s childbearing population and over 60% of the women desiring contraception. Low risk women of all backgrounds receive supportive care, respectful and based on their personal desires, and what is appropriate for healthy women. http://www.childbirthconnection.org/maternity-care/healthy-childbearing/
The lower cesarean section rate at Best Start Birth Center means that the cost for cesareans for every 100 women giving birth at the birth center is only $126,000. The cesarean section cost for 100 women giving birth in a hospital would be $448,000. This is figured using the average cost of cesarean section at $14,000. Giving birth in a Birth Center with a 9% C-section rate can save $322,000 per 100 births. This is a tremendous savings for Medi-Cal, MediCare, Military Insurance- Tricare, and Commercial Insurances.
In 2007 Best Start Birth Center participated in the Center for Disease Control’s PINC Survey of Maternity Care Practices and Infant Feeding. Over 2,500 facilities participated. The composite score for the birth center was 98 out of a possible high score of 100. We placed in the 99th percentile for facilities in the Nation and State of California having less than 250 births per year. This means that we are performing better than 99% of all of these facilities. A particularly interesting observation is that the Best Start Birth Center is able to achieve this stellar rank simply by having the staff and environment that supports normal birth and post partum behaviors for the mother, baby, and family. In other words, using a wellness model, we deem ourselves partners in care and respect the mom and her baby and trust her to be healthy and behave in ways to promote their own health. If hospitals could do the same outcomes in the US would improve across the board. You can go to cdc.gov/mpinc to see more about the survey.
A system of health care that supports free standing birth centers will enhance optimal utilization of services by directing higher risk women to hospitals and allowing low risk women to enjoy low intervention (low tech) and high individualization (high satisfaction) childbearing care in birth centers. (Your birth your way). This will lower costs, raise consumer satisfaction, lower cesarean section rates and increase breast feeding rates in the US.
Birth centers need to have their overhead costs paid, just like hospitals and outpatient surgical centers. The Federal government has been providing federal matching funds to states for MediCaid (MediCal) payment of facility fees to birth centers all over the country for decades. In 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, freestanding birth center (“FSBC”) services, and the professional services of birth attendants in birth centers, were added as a new category of “medical assistance” under section 1905(a) of the Social Security Act for Medicaid women. https://www.midwife.org/acnm/files/ccLibraryFiles/Filename/000000003595/CoverageforBirthCenterandMidwiferyServices-10-5-13.pdf