Last month, Colorado legislators passed House Bill 16-1360, which modifies regulations for direct-entry midwives in the state. The bill went into effect August 10, 2016.
Direct-entry midwives assist women through pregnancy, labor and natural home childbirth. In Colorado, they are required to register with the Division of Professions and Occupations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). The director of the Division, under previous law, could require direct-entry midwives to carry liability insurance.
HB 16-1360 mandates the formation of a working group to determine the risks and possible liabilities involved with receiving care from direct-entry midwives. The group will determine the best methods of managing that risk, which could lead to a mandated surety bond. Other options for risk management include required professional liability insurance, a risk retention group or letters of credit. Any of these could be used to satisfy a professional negligence claim. The working group will need to present their findings to DORA’s executive director by October 1, 2016, who will then provide the report and any additional recommendations to the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee of the House of Representatives by November 1, 2016.
HB 16-1360 creates a task force to evaluate the effectiveness of current direct-entry midwife regulations. The task force will be made up of medical professionals, midwives and other individuals from state departments and agencies that might be affected by the laws. This section of the bill repeals itself on July 1, 2017, meaning that legislators expect the task force to have resolved all the issues presented in the bill by that time.
The bill expands the list of procedures and medicines direct-entry midwives are allowed to perform or administer. It allows them to administer local anesthetic and perform sutures of first- and second-degree perineal tears if they have received and submitted proof of approved education and training within the previous year.
The Office of Direct-Entry Midwifery Registration provides all necessary forms and information to midwife applicants. Some of the information midwife applicants must provide includes the following:
- Proof that applicant is at least 19 years old—copy of birth certificate, drivers license or passport
- Licensing information if licensed in another state
- $200 nonrefundable application fee
- Official transcript showing graduation from a program accredited by the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council OR one of the following:
- Pass NARM’s national registry examination
- Complete and maintain an online Healthcare Professionals Profile
HB 16-1360 preemptively repeals itself on September 1, 2021, meaning legislators intend to revisit and modify the laws before that date. Subscribe to the Insider to stay up-to-date on whether or not a surety bond becomes a requirement for Colorado direct-entry midwives.
Contact the Division of Professions and Occupations with questions about direct-entry midwives’ laws in Colorado. The experts at SuretyBonds.com can help you purchase a surety bond in Colorado.