South Dakota hospital to lose Medicare funding

CMS has terminated Rosebud (S.D.) Indian Health Service Hospital's Medicare contract, effective March 16, according to the Argus Leader.

Last year, CMS identified a number of 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 subsequently closed its emergency room and submitted an action plan to CMS to address the deficiencies. In February, CMS identified new violations at the hospital.

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

"The GPTCHB is deeply concerned about the impact on the lives of those who rely solely on the Indian Health Service for their care," Ms. Church said. "We call on Congress, leadership within HHS and IHS to implement for long-term, systemic improvements within the IHS."

A spokeswoman for the IHS told the Argus Leader that the agency will ask CMS to enter into an agreement that would allow the hospital to 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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