Troubled ED on Sioux Indian reservation draws CMS inspectors

The emergency department at the Indian Health Service hospital on the Rosebud (S.D.) Sioux Indian Reservation is facing scrutiny from CMS, which surveyed the hospital in late July, the Rapid City Journal reports. The inspection results were not immediately available.

Six things to know:

1. In 2015, inspectors found employees hand-washed surgical instruments after a sterilizer broke, failed to communicate that a patient had untreated tuberculosis and did not monitor a patient who delivered a baby prematurely on a bathroom floor.

2. The Indian Health Service closed the hospital's emergency room in 2016. Although health service officials tried to improve care at the facility and later reopened the ED, they shuttered the facility's surgical and OB-GYN units.

3. Indian Health Service officials hired outside contractor AB Staffing Solutions to run the ED for at least one year as part of an agreement to maintain federal funding.

4. Tribal Emergency Medicine, an Arizona-based medical staffing agency, took over the contract in 2017.

5. The Sioux Tribe sued the federal government after the ER closed, claiming the government did not meet a treaty obligation to provide healthcare to enrolled tribal members. The case is ongoing.

6. After two years of minimal progress, tribal leaders said they've lost hope of hospital conditions improving.

"I guess I got my hopes up a little bit there," said Rosebud Sioux Tribal President William Kindle. "I shouldn't have."

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