Indian Healt Service hospital in Winnebago, Nebraska
Published August 7, 2015
Winnebago Tribe Demands Feds Fix Problems & Restore Medicare Funding at Failing Indian Health Service Hospital
WINNEBAGO, NEBRASKA – The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska says it is done with failed attempts and broken promises by the U.S. Indian Health Service (IHS) Hospital on its northeastern Nebraska reservation and announces it is taking steps to have the federal government restore the hospital’s Medicare funding, which was terminated on July 23, 2015.
Last month the tribe publicly stated their disappointment after the federally run hospital’s mismanagement led to repeated reports of care deficiencies that led to the hospital’s termination in the Medicare Program. The loss of Medicare prompted the Winnebago Tribe to take immediate action.
“The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska takes this matter very seriously,” said Chairwoman Darla LaPointe, “this is not a new issue. Our people and many other neighboring Native American citizens have suffered as a result of their negligence and non-compliance. We are moving quickly to take matters into our own hands because we can’t rely on this flawed system any longer. Our lives are at stake.”
LaPointe said a delegation of Winnebago tribal officials went to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with the top officials in the Obama Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Indian Health Services, and Nebraska and Iowa Congressional delegations,
“Our message was simple. We want the Hospital’s quality of care restored to professional standards immediately. We want Tribal participation in corrective actions, including discussions of the Hospital’s future and we want cooperation on developing a plan to restore Medicare funding immediately.” LaPointe said, “We made great strides in garnering support.”
The Tribe says the U.S. Indian Health Service Hospital in Winnebago services over 10,000 Native American patients from Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. According to federal surveys, 5 patient deaths have occurred at the facility since 2011.