Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grassroots News: Good News for Kansas CPMs!

Dear friends,

Good news from Kansas! CPM's were officially recognized as legal practitioners in Kansas birth centers. Congrats, Kansas! Below is more information on the history of CPM's in Kansas, and the specificities of their recognition. As always, if you have any news items that you would like to share, please e-mail

History: a 1996 Kansas Supreme Court ruling stated that in the case presented against a direct-entry midwife, she was not violating the Medical Practices Act because midwifery was not the practice of medicine and she was working in conjunction with a supervising physician. This led many to interpret the law as meaning that direct entry midwives were legal but unregulated in Kansas. Others disagreed with the broadness of that interpretation, with concern that it applied only in that case and that it was contingent on working with physician back-up. Nevertheless, midwives have not been harassed in Kansas and have worked openly.

Previous regulations for birth centers in Kansas required that the center be owned and operated by a physician or CNM, and be staffed with physicians and CNMs. One unique and brilliant CNM, Cathy Gordon, and her compatriot, Debbie Perry, CPM, have worked tirelessly for over two years to revise the birth center regulations to officially allow CPMs to work in them. These regulations just passed! Now, CPMs are legal practitioners in Kansas birth centers. Though not addressing home birth, these regulations provide a definite legal status for CPMs in Kansas. Since regulations hold the power of law, this is one more state where CPMs are recognized as legal providers of care.

Additionally, the language added by MAMA Campaign efforts to the birth center provision in the new healthcare law requires states to provide Medicaid reimbursement to any healthcare provider recognized by state law who is providing services in a licensed birth center. The CPMs in Kansas now fall under that definition!

The full text will not be on the web until July 9. If anyone wants the whole document as a pdf, should contact Ida Darragh at

The language specifically designating CPMs as providers is:

Page 1024:
(f) ''Certified professional midwife'' means an individual who is educated in the discipline of midwifery and who is currently certified by the North American registry of midwives.
(g) ''Clinical director'' means an individual who is appointed by the licensee and is responsible for the direction and oversight of clinical services at a birth center as specified in K.A.R. 28-4-1305.
(h) ''Clinical staff member'' means an individual employed by or serving as a consultant to the birth center who is one of the following:
(1) The clinical director or acting clinical director;
(2) a licensed physician;
(3) a certified nurse-midwife;
(4) a certified professional midwife;
(5) a certified midwife; or
(6) a registered professional nurse.

Page 1029:
(m) Each patient shall be admitted for labor and delivery by a physician, a certified nurse-midwife, a certified professional midwife, or a certified midwife.

Way to go, Kansas!

Stephanie Hucker and Willa Powell
Citizens for Midwifery

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Thank you for reporting on this! From an aspiring midwife in KS :)