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The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996

The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act (the Newborns’ Act) provides protections for mothers and their newborn children relating to the length of their hospital stays following childbirth.

Group health plans that provide benefits for hospital stays in connection with childbirth for a mother and newborn child are subject to the Newborns’ Act may not restrict benefits for a hospital stay in connection with childbirth to less than 48 hours following a vaginal delivery or 96 hours following a delivery by cesarean section. However, the attending provider may decide, after consulting with the mother, to discharge the mother and/or her newborn child earlier.

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