INDIANAPOLIS - WISH- Mothers and babies across Indiana just got a boost when it comes to care at childbirth.
Today, Governor Holcomb signed a bill that guarantees different levels of care at hospitals and birthing centers.
The Governor said this something Hoosiers need. The Senator behind it said it is going to save lives across our state.
With the stroke of several pens, the bill is signed into law. It's designed to combat Indiana's infant mortality rate.
Gov. Eric Holcomb explained "This bill is a step in the right direction. I know this one bill is not going to solve it overnight or alone, but it is putting us on the right path."
The state says in 2016, 623 babies died. That was out of more than 83,000 Hoosier infants born that year.
Hossain Marandi, CEO of Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent's said "Unfortunately, our infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the United States."
Dr. Hossain Marandi, CEO of Peyton Manning Children's Hospital said the new law makes sure hospitals and birthing centers have the equipment and staff they need to birth babies.
Marandi explained "Looking at the opportunity to have a neonatal intensive care unit. Here at St. Vincent's Hospital Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, we have a level 4 NICU, which is the highest level of care you can provide for kids."
But that isn't the case everywhere. Before Thursday, the state Department of Health said birthing centers had their own levels of care based on national standards---because there wasn't uniformity statewide.
Dr. Christine Box, the State Health Commissioner explained "There's nothing more terrifying. as an obstetrical provider then to find yourself caring for a high-risk mom or baby and realizing your facility is not equipped to manage those high risk factors."
Now those standards are set statewide.
State Senator. Ed Charbonneau, a Republican from Valparaiso, explained "With time being so important, this clearly is going to save lives."
To read the entire bill, click here