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Mount Hood Birth Center Faces Closure Without State Approval

Legacy Health’s Mount Hood Birth Center is set to close on March 17th, but state officials have yet to approve the closure.

Legacy Health had announced the planned closure back in January, but the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has warned that the hospital could face regulatory action if it goes ahead with the plan without state approval.

The closure has been met with significant opposition from community members and elected officials, who have called on OHA to deny the waiver request required for closure.

Despite this, OHA has stated that it has yet to receive a request for a waiver from Legacy Health, and that it only received one on March 6th after sending a letter to Legacy Health reminding them of the requirement.

Representative Zach Hudson, whose district covers Troutdale Fairview and Gresham, has called for OHA to deny the waiver request, stating that Legacy Health has not adequately shown that the health impacts on the community can be mitigated in some other way.

Legacy Health has responded to criticism by stating that it did not plan to request approval to close the Family Birth Center, but had instead hoped to change its care model.

However, an unanticipated number of staff departures led to the decision to apply for the waiver.

Legacy Health claims that the closure is due to a low volume of births and a high-cost care model that requires round-the-clock staffing.

If Legacy Health closes the birth center without a waiver, it could face penalties including a suspension or loss of its license.

Pregnant people who arrive at Legacy Mount Hood after the closure will be seen by a provider and then transferred to Randall Children’s for further care.

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