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MATERNITY CARE CRISIS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN ALBANY FEB. 4; PUBLIC FORUM TITLED 'SOLVING THE MATERNITY CARE CRISIS IN NEW YORK STATE'

 MATERNITY CARE CRISIS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN ALBANY FEB. 4; PUBLIC FORUM TITLED 'SOLVING THE MATERNITY CARE CRISIS IN NEW YORK STATE'
 ALBANY, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Nationally recognized health care experts, physicians, and state legislators will gather here on Feb. 4, 1992 to discuss improvements that are urgently needed to provide uniform access to maternity care services to women throughout the state. One of the most significant impediments to cost effective maternity services is the state's existing medical liability system which has evloved as a deterrent to the practice of obstetrics in New York State.
 An expert panel will convene and discuss the development of appropriate reform, Tuesday, Feb. 4 in Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building at 10 a.m. This forum, hosted by the New York Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is open to the public and free of charge.
 A joint study by ACOG and The March of Dimes has revealed that one out of six obstetricians and 70 percent of family physicians in New York have stopped delivering babies due to the accelerating liability crisis. Many obstetricians are retiring at earlier ages, thus depriving patients of access to some of the most experienced doctors in the field.
 With so many maternity care providers leaving the practice, it is becoming increasingly difficult for pregnant women to find adequate care. There are three counties in New York without any obstetric care, and 12 counties with grossly inadequate obstetric services available. Without early and continuous prenatal care, pregnant women and their infants are subject to increased risks and poor birth outcomes. Syracuse, N.Y. has the seventh highest infant mortality rate for cities in the nation.
 Initiatives by Governor Cuomo and State Senator Michael Tully and Assemblywomen Elizabeth Connelly and Pat McGee, have been introduced to achieve liability reform. These proposals seek to create an administrative system to attend to impaired infants. By reducing insurance and court expenses, reform measures would stabilize the cost of maternity care while allowing for services to a greater number of impaired children than receive funding under the present system.
 According to Albert M. Ellman, MD, chairperson of the ACOG Committee on Professional Liability, "The proposed reform bills will ensure access to maternity care for the women and their infants in New York State and will ensure accountability to the public by deterring negligent medical care. This conference," he adds, "will help educate our policy makers and the public regarding the causes of neurologically impaired infants, as well as the inequities of the current legal system's ability to compensate these infants."
 The panel of experts to speak at the conference includes:
 Introduction:
 -- Murray L. Nusbaum, MD, chairperson,
 American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, New York State
 Speaking on Maternal Care & Child Health:
 -- Richard Schwartz, MD, president,
 American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Nationwide
 Speaking on Governor Cuomo's Proposals:
 -- Robert Swidler, Esq., Assistant Counsel to the Governor
 -- Peter Millock, Esq., General Counsel, NYS Dept. of Health
 Speaking on "The Unknown Causes of Neurological Impairments in Infants":
 -- Karin Nelson, M.D., National Institutes of Health Advocating
 Reform Measures:
 -- Tamar Bauer, Esq., director of public policy & program
 development, March of Dimes Foundation for Birth Defects
 Neurologically Impaired Infant Legislation: State Senator Michael Tully and State Assemblywoman Elizabeth Connelly
 Additional presenters:
 -- John Freeman, M.D., Johns Hopkins Medical Institution;
 -- Andrew Freeman, J.D., Brown, Goldstein and Leavy;
 -- Kathy Bryant, J.D., associate director, government relations,
 ACOG (national);
 -- Kenneth Heland, J.D., director, professional liability, ACOG
 (national).
 The conference will highlight New York's present opportunity for improvements in access to maternity care, changes to the obstetrical liability system, and legislation needed to achieve these objectives.
 ----
 NOTE:
 1. Formal agenda in order of presentation will be available to press in the Capitol Press Room on Monday, Feb. 3, 1992, one day prior to conference. Background information on the state's maternity care and obstetrical liability crisis will be available at the same time.
 2. If you wish interview time with any of the conference presenters, please contact ACOG at 518-436-3461 or fax 518-426-4728. Please do so no later than 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 29, so that ACOG may coordinate, doctors' schedules allowing.
 3. If you wish background material earlier than Feb. 3, please contact the ACOG office in advance.
 -0- 1/24/92
 /CONTACT: Donna Montaldo of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 518-436-3461/ CO: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ST: New York IN: HEA MTC SU:


DD -- NE010 -- 3339 01/24/92 13:41 EST
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