Noem Presses HHS Secretary on Tribal Health Care Crisis

noem press headerNoem Presses HHS Secretary on Tribal Health Care Crisis


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Kristi Noem pressed U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell this week during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing for information on how the agency is working to address the tribal health care crisis [VIDEO]. In recent months, Indian Health Service (IHS) units in Rosebud and Pine Ridge have been notified that they are at risk of losing accreditation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, while the Emergency Room in Rosebud has been shut down indefinitely due to significant safety concerns.

“The mismanagement and misconduct in the Great Plains Area has persisted for well over a decade, outlasting administrator after administrator,” said Noem.  “This suggests an ingrained culture that cultivates these behaviors.  I truly believe the only way you can restore accountability and pride in the Great Plains workforce is to change its culture.”

HHS oversees the activities of IHS, the federal agency designated to provide health care to tribal members.  Noem specifically requested for Burwell to provide information on the agency’s plan to improve the quality of health care in both the short and long term as well as strategies the agency seeks to employ to fundamentally change the management culture in the Great Plains Area – the region responsible for health care on reservations in South Dakota.

Burwell expressed a willingness to work with Noem to address the crisis and will be submitting a formal, written response in the coming weeks.

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11 thoughts on “Noem Presses HHS Secretary on Tribal Health Care Crisis

  1. Springer

    And this woeful IHS system is what Daugaard proposes to expand its scope to care for more of the Native Americans, freeing up state money to pay for Medicaid expansion??! I think I see a small problem here.

      1. Springer

        No, not directly. But some/much of the medical services that should be provided by IHS for Native Americans are instead being provided for when they go to non-IHS medical facilities and then Medicaid is billed, which comes out of SD’s budget. This is how Daugaard hoped to expand Medicaid in the state; by making IHS (federal dollars) pick up all or at least most of these costs, and in turn the money saved in Medicaid dollars would pay for Medicaid expansion in the state. Supposedly this wouldn’t cost the state anything, but I will believe that when I can sell you a bridge……

    1. Anonymous

      NO ONE IS SITTING IN THE ROOM LISTENING TO HER! She’s talking to an empty room.

      No wonder she wants to run for governor.

    1. Anon

      Or maybe she’s genuinely concerned by the fact that the ER in Rosebud has been closed for 2 months because it was deemed too dangerous to see patients? Regardless of what you think of Noem its pretty easy to see why she would care about that.

      Also, pretty sure Noem doesn’t need to worry about getting more votes. She got 67% last election. I think it’s safe to say she’s just doing her job here.

      1. Anonymous

        Oh really? How about two or three years ago there was a shortage of natural gas on one of the northern SD reservations. People were freezing and using whatever means they could to stay warm. Noem didn’t do anything until maybe months later when the weather warmed up.

        But you go ahead and keep feeding yourself from your crock of s..t.

        1. Anon

          Therefore she doesn’t care about what’s going on with IHS?

          Also didn’t Noem and the House pass legislation regarding the propane shortage? And Noem called for hearings on the issue, if I recall (similar to what’s been done on IHS).

          1. Anonymous

            Well after the natural gas shortage. Don’t do anything to help immediately, wait a few months and schedule a few hearings. Because that always works so well. Just like IHS. Could’ve prevented it …