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Jerilyn Church

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CMS yanking Indian Health Service hospital’s Medicare contract




CMS has terminated Rosebud (S.D.) Indian Health Service Hospital’s Medicare contract, effective March 16.

The action, which would be a huge financial blow to the hospital, came after CMS identified  patient-safety issues at the 35-bed facility, including broken sterilizing equipment and reports of a woman giving birth to a premature baby on a bathroom floor. The hospital later closed its emergency room and submitted a plan  to CMS to address the deficiencies. But last month,  CMS identified new violations at the hospital.

Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board CEO Jerilyn Church noted that the termination of the hospital’s Medicare contract could create significant challenges for patients in the area.

“{The board} is deeply concerned about the impact on the lives of those who rely solely on the Indian Health Service for their care. We call on Congress, leadership within HHS and IHS to implement for long-term, systemic improvements within the IHS,” she told the Argus Leader, a local newspaper.

An IHS spokesman told the Argus Leader that the agency will ask CMS to   let  the hospital  restore all services by meeting safety and quality requirements. If CMS agrees, the hospital would be able to continue billing Medicare for services.


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