Washington hospital facing possible legal action for closure of maternity unit

The Washington Department of Health is considering legal action against Astria Toppenish (Wash.) Hospital, as the state believes the hospital's closure of its maternity ward is a violation of the hospital's certificate of need, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported Feb. 2.

When the hospital requested a certificate of need in 2017, the state included a stipulation that the hospital had to provide labor and maternity services until 2027.

Astria CEO Brian Gibbons wrote a letter of intent to request a change to the certificate. 

"An applicant should apply to have their certificate amended if they feel a condition needs to be changed prior to making that change without approval," a Washington DOH official told the Yakima Herald-Republic. "Failing to do so subjects the applicant to potential enforcement action."

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