President of Oglala Sioux Tribe welcomes scrutiny of IHS hospital

The Pine Ridge Hospital on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Photo from Dean Kurtz Construction

A hospital on the Pine Ridge Reservation could lose a key source of funding but the leader of the Oglala Sioux Tribe is welcoming the attention being placed on the troubled facility.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Service is threatening to withdraw certification for the Pine Ridge Service Unit. President John Yellowbird Steele said the potential loss of certification from the finally gets the "ball rolling" on much-needed improvements at the facility, KDLT reported.

The hospital is the second in South Dakota that could lose certification from CMS. The other is the Rosebud Service Unit on the neighboring Rosebud Sioux Reservation.

Both facilities are located in the Great Plains Area. A third facility in the region -- the Winnebago Service Unit in Nebraska, which serves the the Omaha Tribe and the Winnebago Tribe. -- lost CMS certification last summer.

All three hospitals have been suffering from quality of care issues for at least five years, according to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The panel released a report in December 2010 that identified long-standing problems at the facilities but tribal leaders have accused the IHS of doing little to improve the situation.

The committee followed up with a hearing and listening session in February and IHS officials have repeatedly promised fixes.

Get the Story:
Pine Ridge Leader Grateful For Inspections Of Tribal Hospitals (KDLT 4/12)
SD Senator Mike Rounds Pushing on IHS for Information (WNAX 4/12)

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Report:
In Critical Condition: The urgent need to reform the Indian Health Service’s Aberdeen Area (December 2010)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Mike Rounds: Indian Health Service creates crisis in Great Plains (4/11)
Indian Health Service failing to make progress in troubled region (4/11)
Indian Health Service sued for patient death in Great Plains Area (4/11)
New leader of Indian Health Service promises fixes in Great Plains (04/07)
New leader of Indian Health Service plans big trip to Great Plains (03/23)
House subcommittee takes testimony on Indian Country budget (03/21)
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)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to hold hearing on tribal budget (03/07)
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)
President Obama seeks another increase for Indian Health Service budget (02/10)
Six of 12 Indian Health Service area directors in 'acting' capacity (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 SCIA hearing (2/3)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing into IHS (2/1)
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)
Nebraska tribes recognized for efforts to hold IHS accountable (09/24)
Tribes in Nebraska demand resignations of senior IHS officials (08/12)
Winnebago Tribe upset with IHS over loss of funds at hospital (8/6)
Winnebago Tribe looking to address deficiencies at IHS hospital (08/05)
Winnebago Tribe hopes to prevent Medicare cutoff at hospital (5/28)
Trending in News
More Headlines