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Federal inspectors visit South Dakota reservation hospital

August 6, 2018

ROSEBUD, S.D. (AP) — The emergency department at the Indian Health Service hospital on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation is under scrutiny again.

Federal inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services surveyed the hospital in late July, the Argus Leader reported . The inspection results weren’t immediately available.

Tribal leaders said they’ve lost hope of turning things around at the hospital after two years with little progress.

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

Inspectors in 2015 found that employees hand-washed surgical instruments when a sterilizer broke, didn’t communicate that a patient had an untreated case of Tuberculosis and failed to monitor a patient who delivered a baby prematurely on a bathroom floor.

The Indian Health Service shuttered the hospital’s emergency room in 2016. Indian Health Service officials worked to improve care at the facility and later reopened the emergency department, but closed the hospital’s surgical and obstetrics and gynecology units.

IHS officials hired outside contractor AB Staffing Solutions to run the emergency department for at least a year as part of an agreement to keep a key federal funding source.

“This new contract underscores the IHS commitment to pursuing creative new solutions that ensure high-quality care for our patients, who are our top priority,” Mary Smith, then-IHS principal deputy director, said in a statement.

Arizona-based Tribal Emergency Medicine then took over the contract in 2017.

The tribe sued the federal government after the ER closed, stating that the government failed to meet a treaty obligation to provide health care to enrolled tribal members. The case is ongoing.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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