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Indian Health Service Accountability Act

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Bill filed to improve care on Indian reservations


Red Cliff Indian Reservation in Wisconsin during  pow wow.

Two Republican senators from states with large Native American populations have introduced a bill improve the Indian Health Service, which serves people on reservations.

Sen. John Barrasso, of Wyoming,  and Sen. John Thune, of South Dakota, said that it was “an important first step” toward ensuring that tribal members receive proper healthcare.

Their Indian Health Service Accountability Act would expedite discipline and firing of problem IHS employees and offer more competitive salaries and hiring incentives.

Further, the bill   would require that reports on inspections of IHS hospitals and clinics by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) be posted on the facilities’ Web sites.

The Inspector General of Health and Human Services, which oversees the IHS, would investigate patient deaths at IHS facilities.

Healthcare experts have often criticized the quality of care on reservations.

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