Sasha Achilli/FRONTLINE (PBS)

The same medical society that issued a nationwide call for volunteers to New York in the early days of the pandemic is issuing a similar call for South Dakota.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine is the largest nonprofit medical organization focused on intensive care services. Dr. Lewis Kaplan is president of the society and a professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He says the group has sent intensive care volunteers all across the country in response to hurricanes and other disasters. This year, the group is responding to COVID-19.

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

FRONTLINE: Predator On The Reservation

Feb 12, 2019

In The Moment ... February 12, 2019 Show 514 Hour 1

Dr. Stanley Patrick Weber was sent to work at the Indian Health Services facility in Pine Ridge after gaining an ugly and suspicious reputation at his previous IHS medical position in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Reservation. By the time he arrived in South Dakota, he had already been accused of sexually molesting multiple Native American boys.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is releasing reports that led to their decision to cut ties with the Indian Health Service hospital in Pine Ridge.

CMS placed the hospital on “Immediate Jeopardy” late last week.

CMS found the hospital failed to comply with standards they set for providing care. The organization made the “Immediate Jeopardy” designation after the third of three unannounced visits to the Pine Ridge IHS hospital.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Indian Health Service is permanently closing the Sioux San Hospital’s emergency room and inpatient services.

IHS must report to Congress at least one year prior to the date they intend to close the facility.

In a press release, IHS says it will terminate emergency room and overnight, inpatient services by July of 2018.

IHS’s emergency room temporarily closed in September last year.  Those seeking emergency room care were referred to the nearby Rapid City Regional Hospital. It never reopened.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s governor says federal health care reform can benefit the state’s working poor. The United States Congress failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. South Dakota’s top official says a different federal change can save tens of millions of dollars.

To understand health care in South Dakota’s future, start in the past. The Affordable Care Act offers subsidies for people with low incomes down to the poverty line. Below that the law needed states to expand Medicaid to cover the working poor.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Governor Dennis Daugaard says South Dakotans should not expect millions of dollars from IHS. A deal with the Indian Health Service would have covered medical care for Native Americans who qualify for IHS and Medicaid. The governor says that can’t happen for now.

Indian Health Service leaders agreed to cover millions in medical costs that South Dakota picks up using Medicaid. Governor Dennis Daugaard says that arrangement hinged on the state’s expansion of Medicaid. Because that isn’t happening, does the deal still work?

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans don’t have answers to many of their health care questions. Between federal administration changes and decisions at the state level, the issue of delivering quality, cost-effective health care is bathed in uncertainty. Local advocates say patients should not panic; instead they say people can better understand the factors at play nationally and within South Dakota – and know that people are fighting for their wellness.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Medicaid expansion in South Dakota may not happen, but many health care providers say they’re not giving up on reforms that could help the working poor. Some health leaders are looking for other ways to deliver medical care to thousands of people.

Doctor Tim Ridgway says the point of the complicated medical system is to take care of people and improve the health of all individuals in communities.

Ridgway says navigating those elements and figuring out how to pay for all of it is an intricate process.

IHS To Close Sioux San ER September 20th

Sep 13, 2016
wrong picture
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Indian Health Service officials are temporally closing the emergency room at Sioux San Hospital in Rapid City.  Officials say the closure is meant to improve overall care and begin renovations on the facility. Officials do not have an immediate date for when ER services might be resumed.  

Watertown Regional Airport

Political Junkies join Dakota Midday again to talk about the week's political news. Roger Whittle is the managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion and Dana Ferguson is a political reporter for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

They weigh in on Medicaid expansion, Indian Health Services, and the GOP convention. They also discuss local issues happening in Watertown and Sioux Falls.

Lori Walsh speaks with U.S. Senator John Thune. Senator Thune is in Rapid City tomorrow for a Senate Indian Affairs Committee Field Hearing. He joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to preview the event and talk about the crisis within IHS, as well as the IHS Accountability Act and other key pieces of legislation.

Dakota Midday: Dakota Political Junkies

Jun 15, 2016

Lori Walsh talks with the Dakota Political Junkies. Jon Hunter and Roger Whittle discuss the state political headlines of the day. With more news this week of troubles in IHS services, the Junkies discuss the IHS Accountability Act of 2016 introduced last month by Senators John Thune and John Barasso. Thune, along with Senator Mike Rounds and Representative Kristi Noem are in the state this week for a town hall meeting, along with staff from the Indian Affairs Committee.

Sen. Rounds: We Must Pay Attention To IHS Issues

Jun 9, 2016

U.S. Senator Mike Rounds says officials in his office are working on an in depth analysis of the Indian Health Service. He’s a co-sponsor of legislation addressing IHS issues in the Great Plains area, including employer recruitment and retention and accountability. Rounds says it’s critical that Tribes are included in the decision making process.  

 Indian Health Service facilities in Pine Ridge and Rosebud were closed earlier.  The move comes alongside allegations the IHS facilities are failing to meet basic standards of service and care. Now, the U-S Senate Committee for Indian Affairs is planning a hearing in South Dakota in June.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A United States Senator and a state lawmaker agree that the federal government is failing to provide adequate health care to Native Americans. United States Senator John Thune and South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert see different solutions to ongoing problems with the Indian Health Service.

U-S  Senator Thune has legislation in Congress aimed at comprehensive reform for federal health services for Native Americans. He says the bill makes it easier to fire ineffective IHS leaders, examines whistle-blower protections, and requires fiscal accountability so patient care funds actually make it to patients.

Jon Hunter is publisher of the Madison Daily Leader. Dana Ferguson is a watchdog state government and political reporter with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. This week the Dakota Political Junkies weigh the influence of the Tom Daschle endorsement of Hillary Clinton. We also talk about more trouble in IHS and how Senator John Thune and Representative Kristi Noem are addressing it and how state Democrats are using IHS woes as political fodder during an election year.

The crisis with Indian Health Services spans decades. Recent developments such as the closure of Rosebud’s only Emergency Room have added to the despair.

Tim Purdon is an attorney with Robins Kaplan LLP. The firm has filed a pro bono lawsuit against IHS on behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Purdon joins Dakota Midday to talk about the complaint and whether litigation can offer hope in desperate times.

US Representative Krisit Noem joins Dakota Midday for an extended conversation about leadership, connection, and the role of impatience in Washington.

Congresswoman Noem and Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh discuss the importance of a personal vision statement, the trials of military sexual trauma, and how coming home to South Dakota serves as antidote to both urban strain and inside-the-Beltway complacency.

Courtesy photo

Members of the South Dakota Health Care Solutions Coalition continue to crunch the numbers to see if Medicaid expansion is feasible in South Dakota. Kim Malsam-Rysdon is the Secretary of the State Department of Health. She says Governor Dennis Daugaard continues to support a special session of the legislature if the plan is ready and if it makes sense to move forward before the regular session. She says officials are working on firming up commitments from providers.  

Gov. Says No Medicaid Expansion This Session

Feb 29, 2016

Governor Dennis Daugaard says he won’t ask state legislators to consider Medicaid expansion this session. He says there’s not enough time to fully consider the issue.

Kevin Killer and Shawn Bordeaux discuss the intersection of state politics and tribal politics. From education to Medicaid expansion to the arts, the two state representatives highlight issues important to South Dakotans and call for partnerships between Native and non-Natives throughout the state. 

Tribal Health Board CEO: Repeal Of ACA Hurts Tribes

Dec 2, 2015
Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board

U.S. Senator John Thune says he’s in favor of an effort to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act now making its way through congress. The move fulfills a promise made by many in the GOP to see the act removed.   But, President Obama is expected to veto any repeal effort.    

Some in South Dakota worry repealing the act would hurt Native Americans and those in the state who lack adequate health care coverage.

Thune says the Affordable Care Act has failed.   He supports repealing a number of provisions within the act.