Health | National

Winnebago Tribe upset with IHS over loss of funds at hospital






A view of the Winnebago Hospital on the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska. Image from Google Maps

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is demanding action after the Indian Health Service lost a key source of funding at the hospital on the reservation.

The tribe has long been award of deficiencies at the Winnebago Service Unit. But leaders were extremely surprised when Medicare cut funding to the facility last month after an IHS official told them the issue was under appeal.

The council only found out about the immediate loss in funding by reading about it in The Sioux City Journal, a letter to the membership stated.

The hospital remains in operation but the loss of the Medicare poses problems for billing of services. Tribal leaders are worried it could lead to more problems so they traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with top officials and members of Congress.

“Our message was simple. We want the hospital’s quality of care restored to professional standards immediately,” Chairwoman Darla LaPointe said in a statement to the Journal.

The tribe eventually wants to take control of the facility. But leaders want the IHS to correct its deficiencies.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services investigated the hospital after a patient died earlier this year. Patients have made numerous complaints about the service.

Get the Story:
Winnebago tribe wants to takeover troubled hospital's management (The Sioux City Journal 8/6)
Officials say Winnebago hospital will operate without federal funding (The Sioux City Journal 7/25)