The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a statement on Friday saying that “no state has an official policy requiring physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital.”
“We know that the need for these privileges is a significant concern to many women,” the statement said.
“While admitting privileges for primary care physicians may be appropriate, these privileges are not required in many states, and therefore do not qualify as admitting privileges.”
The ACOG did not say what the policy is for general practitioners and other specialties.
The statement also did not address the controversy over an ACOG policy that requires women who undergo tubal ligations, or the removal of the uterine lining, to go to a hospital and be seen by a physician.
A new rule by the American College is expected to be announced by the end of March.
“Our goal is to move forward with these rules in a timely fashion and get them in place as quickly as possible,” ACOG vice president, health policy, John Tkaczyk said in a statement.
“We hope that the American people will support our efforts to make this necessary change.”
Women who are admitted to the hospital but do not have admitting privilege have to undergo a physical examination, a medical exam, and a pelvic exam before being discharged, according to the statement.
A person who is admitted to a non-hospital facility but has not undergone admitting privileges, such as a home health care facility, must also undergo a pelvic examination and a physical exam.
ACOG said it had asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to draft guidelines that would ensure that women who are treated in a hospital for non-urgent health care need not have their admitting privileges revoked.
The department has not yet responded to the ACOG’s request for guidance.
“These rules are important for the safety and well-being of women and children,” said Jessica Ellerbeck, an associate director at the American Hospital Association.
“They do not need to be the only means of access to care for women and girls.
We strongly support efforts to ensure that the hospital and health care providers that serve these women and their families receive the best care possible.”