2 South Dakota hospitals ink agreement with CMS to keep Medicare status

The Indian Health Service has entered into a systems improvement agreement with CMS to prevent two of its hospitals from losing Medicare funding.

The agreement covers Pine Ridge (S.D.) Indian Health Service Hospital and Rosebud (S.D.) Indian Health Service Hospital.

In early April, CMS warned Pine Ridge that its Medicare contract would be terminated May 16 unless the hospital entered a systems improvement agreement with CMS by April 29. In an April 8 letter to the hospital, CMS said an Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act revisit survey conducted at the hospital Feb. 25 revealed the facility was in violation of certain Medicare requirements, including anti-dumping provisions and appropriate medical screening examination policies.

CMS identified a number of patient safety issues at the Rosebud hospital last year, including broken sterilizing equipment and reports of a woman giving birth to a premature baby on a bathroom floor. The hospital subsequently closed its emergency room and submitted an action plan to CMS to address the deficiencies.

The systems improvement agreement between the hospitals and CMS covers a 12-month period. During that time, Indian Health Service is able to continue billing Medicare. Prior to the end of the agreement, IHS will have to show that the two hospitals are in compliance with Medicare requirements to return to good standing with the Medicare program.

IHS said it intends to make the best use of the technical assistance and resources available under the terms of the agreement to improve quality of care at the two hospitals.

A CMS spokesperson declined to elaborate on the agreement.

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