Legacy Health facing possible sanctions as it seeks to divert patients from birthing center

Portland, Ore.-based Legacy Health said it will plan to divert pregnant women in labor March 17 from its Mount Hood Medical Center to another hospital even as it faces possible sanctions from the Oregon Health Authority.

At the center of the dispute is the OHA's insistence Legacy Health file a waiver for the planned closure of the Gresham-based Mount Hood center and that such a waiver is granted. While the waiver was received by OHA earlier in March, it has not been granted and there is no timeline for its consideration.

"Health officials have made clear to Legacy Mount Hood on at least two occasions, in written communications sent to hospital leadership, that Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center may not discontinue required maternity services unless and until OHA has granted a waiver to that hospital," OHA said in a statement shared with Becker's. "If Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center discontinues maternity services prior to OHA making a decision on the waiver request, OHA will move forward with appropriate regulatory actions."

For its part, Legacy Health said it will plan to divert patients for labor and delivery March 17 from the Gresham center to another of its hospitals, Randall Children's Hospital in Portland. The system will continue to provide other women's health services at Mount Hood, including gynecology services and high-risk pregnancy outpatient care.

"Our teams are gathering information to respond to the Oregon Health Authority's questions," Legacy Health said in a shared statement with Becker's. "We will submit our answers [March 17]. We appreciate the thorough and focused approach the Oregon Health Authority is bringing to this important process, and we look forward to continuing this conversation with them."

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