Editorial: IHS hospital risks shutdown over money
"Pine Ridge Indian Health Service has its work cut out for it.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) told IHS they had only weeks to improve patient care issues or risk the loss of Medicare and Medicaid payments.

In other words - standing to lose 66 percent of their funding - they'd be shut down.

The threat comes after an October visit in which CMS found a variety of care issues with the hospital. When IHS failed to correct the list of issues, a follow-up survey showed no "immediate risk" to patients and CMS granted the facility a reprieve. Now IHS has until January to facilitate corrective action and not risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The patients are the primary concern and they are not best served by closing Pine Ridge Indian Health Service. At the same time, CMS is being generous in deadline extensions to keep the facility open - giving it opportunity to correct the patient care problems that have been levied against it.

Is IHS up to the challenge? The facility should be bringing in new administrators, if necessary, to aggressively address these urgent issues before funding is lost and patients suffer the consequences.

They have a long list of challenges to meet and for the sake of the many people who use the service. Systemic failures plague Indian Health Services, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Agressive action needed at IHS (The Rapid City Journal 11/27)

Earlier Story:
Pine Ridge IHS gets conditional reprieve from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (The Rapid City Journal 11/23)