IHS runs out of contract care funds in 4.8 months
Remember "Don't get sick after June?" Well, that's old news. Contract health service funds from the Indian Health Service run out in 4.8 months.

"By January, end of February, there is no money left," Dave Hewett, the president of the South Dakota Association of Health Care Organizations, told The Rapid City Journal.

The shortfall means outside health care providers restrict services to Indian patients. And when they do offer care, no one is around to pay the bill.

"It's not just the fact that community hospitals are not being paid," Hewitt said. "Yes, that's a big issue, but it's also about the health status of the Native Americans and their ability to access more preventative care."

At the Rapid City Regional Hospital, only 3 percent of patients are from IHS. But IHS cases represent 11 percent of bad debt.

Get the Story:
IHS shorts hospitals on contract care (The Rapid City Journal 5/4)

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