• Baby+Co. closing Charlotte birth center, its 2 others in North Carolina

    By: Blaine Tolison

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Baby+Co. is closing its three birth centers in North Carolina, according to a statement on its website.

    The centers are in Winston-Salem, Cary and Charlotte.

    [ALSO READ: North Carolina wants to review birthing centers where 3 died]

    For some, the closures add to what can be an emotional time for expectant moms.

    The company said the decision to close the centers has to do with funding. Baby+Co. still touted success in a statement it posted online, saying it has cared for 4,000 women and families.

    It also said it has a proven track record of success, citing a 90 percent promoter score, which is feedback from patients.

    Jacqueline Wallace-Reeves, who gave birth at the Charlotte center in 2017, spoke to Channel 9 from New York where she lives now. She feels for the many pregnant women just getting the news. 

    "Not just your life, but your new child’s life is going to be in someone else’s hands who you don’t necessarily know,” she said.

    The closures come one year after state health officials gave a scathing report about Baby+Co.

    It came after three babies died there over the course of seven months.

    North Carolina doesn’t regulate birthing centers, so Baby+Co. submitted to a voluntary review by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    The state identified 13 serious concerns in Cary relating to oversight, or lack thereof, by the contracted medical director, quality improvement processes and certified nursing midwives scope of practice.

    At the time, the company responded to what it called factual inaccuracies and misguided conclusions.

    Reeves said she had no complaints about her experience.

    "My experience was amazing. They went above and beyond care-wise,” she said.

    The company's website statement reads:

    We have made the difficult decision to close our three birth centers in North Carolina. We did not make this decision lightly, but market conditions and the payer landscape in North Carolina made these centers financially unsustainable.

    Our passionate and talented team of midwives and employees have cared for over 4,000 women and families in North Carolina. We are extremely proud of the quality of care and experiences we provided.

    Despite challenging market conditions, we have a proven track record for our innovative model of maternity care, while saving payers and families in North Carolina $27 million. Some of our accomplishments include:

    C-section rates that are 3x lower than the low-risk c-section rate in the hospital (8% v. 24%).
    Pre-term birth rates that are a third of North Carolina’s average 3% v. 10% Fetal and newborn mortality rate that is half of the perinatal mortality rate for low-risk births in the hospital 0.42% v 0.64% Net promoter score of 90, nearly unheard of in health care and well above labor and delivery average of 65

    We understand the impact our decision has on patients and midwives and are committed to supporting them through this process.

    We remain committed to the cause of improving maternity care in the United States because the current system remains broken. We will continue our efforts to provide a financially sustainable and scalable model of maternity care with our center in Nashville and elsewhere.”

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