State officials stop Oregon hospital from closing maternity unit

State health officials denied Gresham, Ore.-based Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center's waiver application to halt maternity services, the Oregon Health Authority said March 29. 

The hospital submitted a waiver to request the closure of the Family Birth Center earlier in March, according to an OHA news release. Legacy Health had planned to divert patients from the Gresham hospital to Randall Children's Hospital in Portland, Ore.

However, state officials said closing Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center's Family Birth Center doesn't meet the needs of the hospital's patients or community. According to a review, the closure didn't maintain or improve patient services; staff shortages at the birth center were from management decisions; and the hospital "chose to close the facility instead of placing staff at the birth center that were willing to implement management's proposed new care model."

OHA also opened a separate but related investigation into the closure of the birth center without an approved waiver. 

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