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Pine Ridge IHS Hospital Regains Accreditation and CMS Agreement

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The Pine Ridge Indian Health Services hospital has regained accreditation status and can now bill Medicare for services.

The Great Plains Area Director for the IHS says the announcement is thanks to lasting changes in facility operations.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ended its provider agreement with the Pine Ridge IHS facility in 2017, citing the facility’s failure to meet care standards. Losing that agreement meant the facility couldn’t reimburse treatments through those programs

By November of last year, a CMS survey team reported the hospital to be 100% compliant with standards. Last month, the Joint Commission awarded the hospital full accreditation after a virtual survey.

James Driving Hawk is the Great Plains Area Director for Indian Health Services. He says the Pine Ridge team has demonstrated it can consistently meet standards.

“We have expanded leadership oversight from the area office to the hospital and improved staffing levels, and we’ve increased requirements for medical staff credentialing, education of our staff for quality standards, and implemented new checks and balances to ensure new issues that arise are addressed promptly,” he explains.

He says the agreement with CMS will help the facility maintain and expand its services.

“Going forward now all of our visits that we have with our patients are able to be reimbursed, fully reimbursed now. So the hospitals will receive that additional revenue and we take it back and invest it into facilities and services.”

Driving Hawk says one of those investments is a planned renovation of the Pine Ridge IHS emergency department.

Jackie is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls Studio.