On Nov. 8 the Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing on U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds’ Indian Health Services (IHS) Assessment legislation, S.465. Sen. Rounds’ legislation calls for an independent outside audit of the health care delivery systems and financial management of IHS. Sen. Rounds testified on behalf of the bill, citing four primary areas of concern: no funding allocation strategy for the 12 IHS regions; no standard quality assessment; high turnover of staff resulting in low accountability amongst management; and no consultation with tribes.
SDAHO stands in support of S.465 and offered, in part, the following statement to Sen. Rounds:
“The Assessment is urgently needed and will provide invaluable information and data that can be utilized to research/recommend opportunities for improvements and ensure access to high quality, safe care for Native Americans in South Dakotans and throughout the country.”
We will continue to monitor and support this legislation.