A critical access hospital that serves a rural community northwest of Boise will no longer deliver babies after June 1.
Valor Health’s decision to stop offering labor and delivery care in Emmett comes on the heels of a North Idaho hospital shuttering its maternity services.
It also comes as the Idaho Legislature is on track to defund research into preventing maternal deaths; as state lawmakers have banned nearly all abortions; and as Idaho chooses not extend its postpartum Medicaid coverage.
The COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of staff and nurses who can deliver babies, and the revenue challenges that have dogged rural health care for decades are among the factors the hospital referenced in an announcement posted to its website.
Meanwhile, the small county-owned hospital had invested in maternity facilities but projected only 50 deliveries in the coming year, it said in the announcement.
The hospital could no longer safely provide the services, it said, due to a lack of pediatricians, fewer patients delivering babies there, and financial limitations.
Consequences for Idaho physicians providing the standard of care may include civil litigation and criminal prosecution, leading to jail time or fines. »