Crisis At IHS Hospitals Jeopardizes Health And Lives Of Native Americans
Modern Healthcare offers a special report on the troubled Indian Health Service system, where conditions are worse than the more widely discussed Veterans Affairs hospitals.
The health problems of Native Americans, who represent 2% of the U.S. population, are largely invisible to the broader public. Congress rarely investigates conditions at [Indian Health Services] facilities. The last piece of wide-ranging legislation to tackle its problems—the Indian Health Care Improvement Act—was passed in 1976 and was permanently reauthorized as part of the Affordable Care Act. But it never succeeded in righting the underfunded agency. Frustrated by the failure of the federal government to take their concerns seriously, tribes in other parts of the country over the past several decades have forced out IHS by creating not-for-profit community organizations to run their local facilities. (Hermand and Fei, 12/2)