Funding for Neurologically Damaged Newborns Extended to Homebirths in New York

In 2011, the state of New York created a special fund to benefit babies that suffer from birth-related neurological damage. The fund has previously only been made available to hospital born babies as it is supported by fees on hospital-based obstetrical services.

However, the State Supreme Court has recently determined that the intent of state lawmakers did not place limitations on the setting of birth – therefore opening the use of the indemnity fund for homebirth deliveries as well.

The decision comes following a medical malpractice action against a homebirth provider that was settled for $3 million, $1.8 million of which was intended to come from the state medical indemnity fund – a claim denied by the fund’s third party administrator.

The state of New York defines a neurologically related impairment at birth as an injury to the spinal cord of a live infant caused by deprivation of oxygen or mechanical injury occurring in the course of labor, delivery or resuscitation.

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