Tag: maternity

State considering action against Astria Toppenish Hospital following closure of maternity center | Local

The Washington Department of Health is considering possible disciplinary action against Astria Toppenish Hospital over the closure of the Family Maternity Center in December.

The issue centers on Astria Health’s certificate of need with the state. The Department of Health requires some health care organizations get approval to build new facilities or offer new services through a certificate of need. The process aims to ensure that facilities and services are needed for quality patient care in a region or community.

Astria Health, then called Regional Health, requested a certificate of need from the state in 2017 when it purchased Toppenish Community Hospital from Community Health Systems. The certificate of need issued to Astria by the state included a condition that required the hospital to provide labor and delivery services and other health care until 2027.

Astria fell out of compliance with the agreement in December when it shut down the Family Maternity Center at its Toppenish hospital without first seeking to have the certificate of need amended, DOH staff said.

“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,” DOH staff said in an email to the Yakima Herald-Republic. “Failing to do so subjects the applicant to potential enforcement action.”

Astria Toppenish Hospital’s certificate of need states that  “Regional Health (now Astria Health) will continue providing the essential services identified in the application for a minimum of ten years.”

The first service listed is perinatal/obstetrical services, including cesarean sections and labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care.

Astria Toppenish stopped a service that is a condition of the certificate of need, DOH staff said in the email.

“Because this process is ongoing, we don’t want to speculate about what action(s) might or might not be

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