Indian Health Service

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.

For a period of eight months following the closure of the Sioux San Hospital emergency room in Rapid City, Regional Health officials say they covered over 25-hundred IHS eligible patients.

Mike Diedrich is the vice president of governmental affairs from Regional Health.

Diedrich says ER care for Indian Health Service eligible patients is swallowed by the hospital.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

South Dakota’s US House Representative says an Indian Health Service reform bill is moving quickly through Congress.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem has sponsored similar legislation in the past. The bill increases care standards, gives IHS more recruitment tools and requires more accountability from providers.

Noem gave an update on the bill at a town hall meeting in Rapid City on Wednesday.

The legislation is in response to years of reports about poorly delivered care and mismanagement.

Representative Don Haggar says the Indian Health Service needs help and is requesting an audit by the Federal General Accounting Office.

A bill to equal parenting time for divorced couples assumes both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for joint custody. The measure is moving through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The South Dakota Senate delays vote on measure to repeal Initiated Measure 22.

IHS To Close Sioux San ER September 20th

Sep 13, 2016
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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.  

After 7 Months, Rosebud Emergency Room Reopens

Jul 14, 2016

The emergency room at the Indian Health Service run Rosebud Hospital is reopening after being closed for more than seven months.

The head of IHS says this is the first of many improvements for Rosebud and other Great Plains tribal hospitals.

 

Federal officials shut down the Rosebud Hospital Emergency Room in December following reports of unsanitary conditions and malpractice. Since then, tribal officials say nine people have died in-route to the next nearest hospitals. That distance could be as much as 50 miles away.

Noem’s IHS Bill Working Way Through Congress

Jul 12, 2016

Congressional testimony on Representative Kristi Noem’s Indian Health Service bill wrapped up Tuesday.

Noem’s bill aims to create tribal led boards that control IHS hospitals. Noem says the boards will improve retention, reduce wait times and update the service’s funding formula.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem says her bill seeks to change the culture within the Indian Health Service. Noem says the IHS must retain quality employees, but she says agency personnel also need to be held accountable.

SD Congressional Leaders Call For IHS Audit

Jul 7, 2016

South Dakota’s representatives in Congress say an audit of Indian Health Service operations would lead to solutions for improving care for Native people.

Officials say one of the focuses of an audit would be the formula for how IHS funds different regions.

The Indian Health Service employs roughly 15,000 people.  U-S Senator Mike Rounds, says out of those only 750 are doctors who actually see patients.  

Wiki Commons

Tribal members from Nebraska and South Dakota packed the Rapid City council chambers Thursday to discuss the IHS Accountability Act of 2016.

It’s a reform bill meant to tackle mismanagement by network of hospitals both on and off reservations.

South Dakota U.S. Senator John Thune introduced the bill last month, and a panel is seeking input on the measure.

The federal government is required to provide healthcare to tribal members. But many Native Americans even forgo the care they are guaranteed, due to poor conditions at Indian Health Services hospitals.

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.

Democratic leaders in the Statehouse say they’re optimistic about the Governor’s proposal to expand Medicaid. They say it benefits tens of thousands of South Dakotans and could transform the Indian Health Service.  

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.

Trahant Speaks About Native American Health Care

Nov 7, 2013

Mark Trahant is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe of Idaho and former president of the Native American Journalists Association.  He presents the 2013 Joseph Harper Cash Memorial Lecture at the University of South Dakota tonight (11/7) at 6:00 p.m. at the Al Neuharth Media Center.  Trahant’s presentation, “Money in the Cup: The Affordable Care Act and American Indian Health Care,” explores how the Affordable Care Act impacts the Indian Health Service.