PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
[Filed October 29, 1997, 10:22 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Amendments or changes to WAC 246-834-220, 246-834-230, and 246-834-240. These rules provide credit toward the educational requirements for licensure of nonlicensed midwives.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 18.50.040(3).
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The current rules do not consider national credentialing or other measures which have been developed since the original adoption of these rules in 1988. If experienced midwives are not able to obtain licensure, it could limit the public choice for care. In addition, midwives who are not licensed may practice under an exemption but are not subject to disciplinary correction. These rules are needed to assure that midwives who are granted credit toward educational requirements possess the same knowledge and skills gained through formal education. This is needed to protect the public health and welfare. By amending these rules, the department may be able to use new ways of verifying knowledge and skills. This would make processes easier for both the department and the applicants.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: There are no other entities which license midwives.
Process for Developing New Rule: The department intends to create a workgroup of the following members: One licensed midwife, one naturopathic midwife, one unlicensed midwife, one student midwife, one midwifery educator, one physician, one certified nurse midwife, one consumer of licensed midwifery services and one consumer of unlicensed midwifery services. This workgroup will conduct a series of meetings to develop such rules.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. The department plans to hold approximately five workshop meetings between November 1997 and April 1998. Parties who are interested in obtaining agendas for these meetings should contact Kendra Pitzler, Department of Health, Midwifery Program, P.O. Box 47864, Olympia, WA 98504-7864 or (360) 664-4216. You may send your FAX to (360) 586-2165.
October 29, 1997