indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Indian Health Service awards large contract in Great Plains Area

Filed Under: Health | National | Technology
More on: ihs, mary smith, nebraska, north dakota, oglala sioux, scia, sonia little hawk-weston, south dakota
     
   

The Indian Health Service offers telemedecine services, including this ophthalmology program, to patients throughout Indian Country. Photo from IHS

The Indian Health Service has awarded a large contract aimed at boosting telemedicine efforts in the Great Plains Area.

Under the contract, Avera Health will provide telehealth services to IHS facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, the agency announced on Tuesday. The agreement runs for one year, at a cost of $6.8 million, but it can be extended for up to five years at a total cost of $100 million.

"This contract is beneficial to IHS patients because it connects Avera Health’s medical experts to American Indian communities as part of a major IHS initiative to improve access to quality care at hospitals, health centers and other facilities in the Great Plains," Mary L. Smith, the top official at the agency, said in a press release.

Avera Health is a regional health system based in South Dakota. It operates more than 100 locations throughout South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota.

Tribal leaders from the Great Plains had mentioned Avera Health as a possible partner as they pressed the IHS to address the quality of care in the region. They said telehealth offered one way to fix long-standing problems in the system.

"The use of telehealth technology could be a powerful tool in addressing some of our most pressing concerns related to the prohibitive cost and other burdens of patient travel, as well as the misdiagnosis and improper treatment," Sonia Little Hawk-Weston, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said in testimony to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in February.

"Telehealth would provide access to experts while saving unnecessary patient travel costs to Rapid City and elsewhere," Little Hawk-Weston added, citing the long distances between the Pine Ridge Reservation and facilities that provide services that aren't offered locally by the IHS.

At the same time, Little Hawk-Weston noted that the Pine Ridge Hospital is not fully capable of supporting the technological needs of a telehealth system. Only about half of the facility is wired, she said.

According to the IHS, the Great Plains appears to have fallen behind in terms of telehealth. Only 10 sites in the region -- nine in South Dakota and one in Nebraska -- participate in the IHS-Joslin Vision Network Teleophthalmology Program, which is designed to prevent diabetes-related blindness among tribal members.

In comparison, the program is available at 19 sites in Arizona and 10 sites in Oklahoma alone, according to a document presented to Great Plains tribes earlier this year.

The IHS Telebehavioral Health Center of Excellence is only offered at six sites in the Great Plains, five in South Dakota and one in North Dakota, according to the document. This program is smaller, overall, in comparison to the IHS-Joslin Vision Network.

Related Stories:
Native Sun News Today: Urban Indians lose emergency services (9/20)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules business meeting (09/19)
House committee considers bill to reform Indian Health Service (09/14)
Indian Health Service crisis continues with shutdown at hospital (9/14)
Tim Giago: Our people are dying too young and without dignity (09/12)
Indian Health Service hosts meeting with Direct Service Tribes (08/30)
Indian Health Service sued for delay in removing needle from patient's foot (08/16)
Tribal Leaders: The Indian Health Service can't be fixed overnight (08/12)
Native Sun News: Indian Health Service eyes new hospital in Rapid City (07/28)
Lakota Country Times: No call to fully fund Indian Health Service (07/19)
Indian Health Service to reopen emergency room in South Dakota (07/14)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe struggles with shutdown of emergency room (7/13)
Indian Health Service remains on defensive as troubles continue (7/13)
Great Plains tribes testify on bill to reform Indian Health Service (7/12)
Bill to reform Indian Health Service up for first hearing in House (7/11)
Mike Rounds: Improving the Indian Health Service for tribal citizens (07/08)
Mary Smith: Indian Health Service takes action to stop opioid abuse (07/07)
Ernestine Chasing Hawk: Mismanagement at Indian Health Service (07/07)
Sen. Mike Rounds formally requests audit of Indian Health Service (07/06)
Indian Health Service adopts policy for prescription drug monitoring (07/06)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders is right about Indian Health Service (07/01)
Mark Trahant: A Republican plan to terminate the Indian Health Service (06/23)
Native Sun News: Senate committee takes on Indian Health Service (06/23)
Indian Health Service expresses support for reform bill in Senate (06/17)
Local station to broadcast field hearing on Indian Health Service (6/16)
Lakota Country Times: Senate committee lands in South Dakota (6/16)
Lakota Country Times: Lawmakers focus on Indian health care (6/15)
Indian Health Service diverts care again at South Dakota hospital (6/14)
Hearing on Indian Health Service draws South Dakota delegation (6/14)
Indian Health Service diverts care again at South Dakota hospital (6/14)
Kristi Noem: Indian Health Service fails to uphold responsibilities (6/13)
Great Plains tribes call for closure of Indian Health Service office (6/13)
Bill seeks random drug tests for Indian Health Service employees (6/10)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs set for South Dakota hearing (6/10)
Indian Health Service cites progress at hospital in South Dakota (6/9)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hosts town hall in South Dakota (06/07)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge Hospital sees shakeup in staff (6/7)
North Dakota tribes share frustrations with Indian Health Service (6/3)
Spirit Lake Nation eyes better care at Indian Health Service clinic (6/3)
Indian Health Service considers changes in troubled Great Plains (6/2)
Indian Health Service asks tribes about community health aides (6/1)
Field hearing in South Dakota on Indian Health Service reform bill (5/31)
Indian Health Service reaches first tribal compact in Great Plains (5/31)
Native Sun News: Longtime Indian Health Service staff reassigned (5/31)
Indian Health Service reform efforts gaining steam on Capitol Hill (5/25)
Indian Health Service announces more hires at troubled hospital (5/25)
Indian Health Service facility cited for treatment of 6-month-old (5/24)
Another Indian Health Service facility in Great Plains threatened (5/23)
Roger Birdbear: Obamacare can help address shortfalls at IHS (5/23)
Indian Health Service hires contractor to run emergency rooms (05/18)
Indian Health Service questioned over efforts in troubled region (5/16)
Sen. Rounds seeking support for audit into Indian Health Service (5/12)
Mike Myers: Indian Health Service carries out cultural colonization (05/09)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud Sioux Tribe sues IHS over shutdown (05/06)
Sen. Rounds to seek system-wide review of Indian Health Service (05/05)
Indian Health Service reaches agreements for troubled facilities (05/02)
Indian Health Service faulted for lengthy waits in patient care (04/29)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe sues Indian Health Service over 'crisis' in care (04/28)
John Thune: Tribal citizens suffer at hands of Indian Health Service (04/27)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe kept in dark about IHS emergency room contract (04/25)
Bill aims to restore some 'RESPECT' in dealings with Native people (04/20)
Indian Health Service seeks new contracts for emergency rooms (04/20)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala leader demands closure of IHS office (04/18)
President of Oglala Sioux Tribe welcomes scrutiny of IHS hospital (04/12)
Indian Health Service sued for patient death in Great Plains Area (04/11)
Mike Rounds: Indian Health Service creates crisis in Great Plains (04/11)
Indian Health Service failing to make progress in troubled region (04/11)
New leader of Indian Health Service promises fixes in Great Plains (04/07)
Indian Health Service recommended hospital executive for DC job (04/07)
New leader of Indian Health Service plans big trip to Great Plains (03/23)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe left 'high and dry' by IHS hospital executive (03/21)
Indian Health Service extends comment period on emergency fund (03/11)
Indian Health Service aims to save certification for troubled facility (03/09)
Mary Smith: Bringing more accountability to Indian Health Service (03/09)
New leader of Indian Health Service to testify about budget request (03/08)
IHS facility on Rosebud Sioux Reservation loses key certification (03/03)
Cherokee Nation citizen Mary Smith to helm Indian Health Service (03/01)
Editorial: Quality of Indian Health Service is a scandal in Montana (02/29)
Mike Myers: Exposing problems at the Indian Homicide Service (02/25)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe frustrated by treatment from HHS agencies (02/17)
Another IHS hospital threatened with loss of Medicare funding (02/16)
Brandon Ecoffey: Treaties guaranteed health care for our people (02/11)
Six of 12 Indian Health Service area directors in 'acting' capacity (02/10)
President Obama seeks another increase for Indian Health Service budget (02/10)
Kristi Noem: Indian Health Service remains in a state of emergency (02/10)
Tribal leaders question management changes at IHS in Great Plains (02/04)
IHS chief medical officer apologizes for comments about newborns (02/04)
Indian Health Service makes changes ahead of big Senate hearing (02/03)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing into IHS (02/01)
Inspections of IHS facilities in Great Plains turn up big problems (1/28)
Senate committee reschedules IHS hearing and listening session (01/25)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee expands look at substandard IHS (1/22)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee to look at 'substandard' care at IHS in Great Plains (01/12)
Mary Annette Pember: Native women affected by cutbacks at IHS (12/29)
Lakota Country Times: IHS restricts care at Rosebud hospital (12/24)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Federal court blocks attempt to condemn lands on Navajo Nation (5/26)
Bill removes blood quantum requirement for Five Civilized Tribes (5/26)
Mark Trahant: Voting is just sooo hard in the era of Donald Trump (5/26)
Ryan Benally: Bears Ears was false promise for Native Americans (5/26)
Adrian Jawort: Should non-Natives ever write about our people? (5/26)
Native turnout fails to sway closely-watched election in Montana (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee council ousts chief for only 2nd time in history (5/26)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe into election season with crowded field (5/26)
Lacrosse documentary 'Pride of a Nation' opens to strong reviews (5/26)
Seminole Tribe working hard to rid new casino of Trump's influence (5/26)
Lawmakers once again seek fixes to 'broken' Indian Health Service (5/25)
Secretary Zinke headed to National Congress of American Indians (5/25)
Bureau of Indian Affairs opens listening sessions on reorganization (5/25)
Kevin Washburn: Indian Country feels the pain with Donald Trump (5/25)
Yakama Nation landowners weigh offers as buy-back winds down (5/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant found not guilty (5/25)
Secretary Zinke plans to work with tribes on drilling push in Alaska (5/25)
Republican candidate to replace Ryan Zinke charged with assault (5/25)
Democrats drop Andrew Jackson from name of event in Arkansas (5/25)
Chickasaw Nation breaks ground on $10M casino by Texas border (5/25)
Washoe Tribe celebrates 1st anniversary of unique gaming facility (5/25)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community shares update on casino work (5/25)
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (5/24)
Northwest tribes slam Trump's budget for cuts to Indian programs (5/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe finds one bright spot in Trump's budget (5/24)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe reports jury conviction of non-Indian offender (5/24)
YES! Magazine: Native birthing center maintains tribal traditions (5/24)
Peter d'Errico: Founding Fathers conspired to take land from tribes (5/24)
Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (5/24)
Another guilty plea in theft of gaming funds from Winnebago Tribe (5/24)
Tribes clear legislative hurdle in bid for new casino in Connecticut (5/24)
President Trump confirms Indian Country's worst fears with budget (5/23)
Office of Special Trustee pitches lower budget as 'taxpayer' savings (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Monuments to white supremacy harm our people (5/23)
Two more spills of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota (5/23)
Native woman in skirt and sandals wins ultramarathon in Mexico (5/23)
Brothers from Huichol Tribe murdered as drug war rages in Mexico (5/23)
Iowa Tribe misses deadline again to launch internet poker project (5/23)
Mississippi Choctaw citizens request vote on $25M casino project (5/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must wait to restart work on casino (5/23)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (5/22)
Landowners on 2 reservations in Nebraska receive buy-back offers (5/22)
Human Rights Complaint: 'We are only letting the white people in' (5/22)
Mark Trahant: Funds for Indian health in danger under Republicans (5/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.