According to a ruling issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Indian Health Service hospital in Pine Ridge, South Dakota has been placed on “immediate jeopardy” status. As reported by the Rapid City Journal, actions taken by the hospital have caused or are likely to cause death or injury to its patients. While on immediate jeopardy status, the hospital will not be able to bill Medicare and Medicaid eligible services to the government.
Documents released by CMS indicated the immediate jeopardy status was invoked following the death of a diabetic male patient who was incorrectly diagnosed at the Pine Ridge hospital.
To learn more about the Pine Ridge Reservation visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.
On October 26, 1918, a man was arrested and brought to trial for spitting in public in Rapid City. According to the Rapid City Daily Journal, the anti-spitting ordinance was established in order to prevent further spread of the disease “through the filthy and careless habits of some thoughtless people who persist in expectorating on the floors in public places and on the sidewalks.” The typical fine for the offense was $6, or $92 in 2017 inflation adjusted dollars.
Rapid City Mayor William E. Robinson instructed law enforcement officials to strictly enforce the ordinance in order to prevent further spreading of the Spanish Flu. A physician himself, Robinson attended to numerous patients at all hours during the flu pandemic. However, the mayor’s grueling work schedule and exposure to the deadly disease threw him into a state of exhaustion. He died on December 2, 1918, while still serving as mayor.
In 1918, the number one cause of death in South Dakota was influenza. Lawrence County suffered the greatest number of casualties, with 145 flu-related deaths. Statewide, the disease claimed 1,847 lives—28 percent of the total number of deaths in the state that year. By comparison, in 1917 influenza was No. 20 for causes of death in the state, claiming just 54 lives.
You can learn more about Mayor William Robinson on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s Mayoral History Page.
The Pennington County Commission denied a funding request in the amount of $90,000 for the county’s health facility, reports the Rapid City Journal. The request was made in advance of preparation on the building’s second floor located at 200 Kansas City Street. A specific use for the second floor of the facility remains to be determined.
The total cost of the facility is estimated at $9.1 million. Commissioners opposed to the funding request cited concerns about the yet-to-be determined use for the second floor. The commission rejected the request by a vote of 3-2.
To learn more about Pennington County, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile. To read more news about Pennington County, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
The Indian Health Service (IHS) recently set standardized wait times for its patients, reports KOTA News. The agency implemented a 28-day wait for scheduled primary care visits and 48-hour waits for urgent care visits. Tribes that operate on a contract basis with IHS will establish their own standards for wait times.
The change in policy follows a report by the Government Accountability Office which found that wait times were not standardized across the agency. The report indicated that some patients waited as long as a year to be seen by a physician.
To read more about the Indian Health Service, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archive.
The completion of a new three-level parking garage is just the start of many upgrades that Rapid City Regional Hospital will be going through. According to the Rapid City Journal, as part of a $200 million remodel/upgrade, the plan calls for a new three-story glass front entrance, an expanded emergency department, more patient beds, and more medical offices. The upgrades, slated for a completion date sometime in 2020, will also include an intermediate care cardiac unit with outpatient offices to replace the current offices offsite.
To read up on past and current news articles related to Rapid City Regional Hospital, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archive.
For more information on Regional as well as the health and wellness of the area, check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network Community Profiles page.
The South Dakota Health Care Solutions Coalition is turning to Wyoming to get ideas to improve the current costs incurred, reports the Rapid City Journal. The coalition was formed in 2015 and members were appointed by Governor Daugaard. The purpose of the group is looking into options to expand Medicaid for South Dakotans.
Wyoming hopes to save about $2 million by changing how the Indian Health Service (IHS) refers patients. Last year Wyoming spent nearly $32 million on patients referrals to non-IHS services and facilities. A shared savings approach could be one option, but would require collaboration between the state and IHS.
For more information about the Indian Health Services, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archives. You can learn more about the South Dakota Medicaid Expansion by visiting the Black Hills Knowledge Network issue hub.
In conjunction with National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month, free skin cancer screenings will be offered by dermatologists at the Community Health Center of the Black Hills. According to a news release from Regional Health, the screenings will be by appointment only from 6-7:45 p.m.
The event, sponsored by Regional Health, the Skin Institute at Rapid City Medical Center, and West River Dermatology, is aimed at bringing awareness to the detection and prevention of skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in the United States. Approximately 161,790 new melanoma cases will be diagnosed in the United States this year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Doctors at Rapid City's Region Health signaled their dissatisfaction with current leadership. KOTA News reported that medical staff took a vote of no confidence in Regional Health CEO Brent Phillips, by a margin of 95 to 47. The Rapid City Journal reported that under Phillips, staff felt an internal disruption in teamwork and that relations with other area health providers have been damaged.
Following the vote, Lia Green, Chair of the Regional Health Board of Directors, issued a statement in support of Phillips on behalf of the board. The statement also indicated that the board was disappointed in the vote taken by staff, and that several important issues had been identified and would be addressed by the board.
Past articles on Regional Health are linked in the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.
Several leaders in law enforcement and in the community are drawing up short-term and long-term plans for improving mental health services for those in crises. The Rapid City Journal reports that the short-term plans include using available resources such as the Crisis Care Center to help keep those in crisis out of jail. For long term concerns, the group is looking to open the Pennington County Health Facility in the city for those most in need of care. The need for mental health care in Rapid City has risen sharply since Regional Health changed their admission policy on helping those in states of mental crisis. If rooms are full, the only option now is for the person or persons to be sent to jail.
To read up on past and current news articles related to health and wellness in the area, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archives.
For more information on health and wellness in Rapid City, check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network Community Profile page.
Healthgrades awarded Rapid City Regional Health the 2017 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, reports the Rapid City Journal. This award is given to the top five percent of hospitals based on a review of clinical outcomes. Rapid City Regional was one of two hospitals in South Dakota to receive this distinction. Sanford USD Medical Center was the other recipient.
According to Healthgrades, 66 percent of patients at Rapid City Regional Health would recommend the hospital. This rate is four points below the national average of 70 percent. Comparatively, 77 percent of patients at Sandford USD Medical Center would recommend the hospital. These measures are drawn from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey data. Patients from individual hospitals who responded "definitely yes" out of options ranging from probably yes, probably no, and definitely no, were measured against the national average of patients also responding "definitely yes."
Healthgrades is an online resource that gives information about physicians and hospitals. You can see the entire list of 2017 winners on the Healthgrades website.
Regional Health plans to spend about $305 million on new facilities and upgrades across western South Dakota, but none of this is earmarked to improve mental health services. As reported by the Rapid City Journal, Regional officials want to see state and local authorities arrange for financial partnerships to help out those suffering from mental health issues. The issue has been raised since Regional adopted new policies to send those in mental crises to jail rather than care for them if the hospital is full.
To read up on past news articles related to Regional Health, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.
A variety of health issues become hot topics in the Black Hills region each year. The following pages provide background information and context to past and present health issues in the area. For South Dakota health data, visit our sister site, the South Dakota Dashboard. To find health and wellness resources in the Black Hills region, visit our community resource pages.
|South Dakota Medicaid Expansion|
|Affordable Care Act|
|Healthcare Costs and Workforce in South Dakota|
|Infant Mortality In South Dakota|
|Native American Health|
|Obesity, Tobacco, and Cancer in South Dakota|
|Rapid City Seniors|
|Teen Smoking In South Dakota|
|VA Black Hills Health Care System|
|West Nile Virus in South Dakota|
|Sioux San – Rapid City Indian Health Service (IHS) Facility|
Prior to February 1, behavioral health patients without acute medical needs were sent to Rapid City Regional, if the Behavioral Health Facility was at capacity. Under the new policy, the hospital will contact the Pennington County Sheriff's office will be contacted to incarcerate the individuals.
The second change involves patients with autism, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease. Patients with these diseases will no longer be admitted to the Behavioral Health Facility.
Many have expressed concerns with this new policy, as the Pennington County Jail is ill-equipped to handle patients with behavioral health issues. Additionally, opponents of the new policy argue that the policy stigmatizes individuals who suffer from mental health illnesses. Officials from Rapid City Regional Hospital assert that they are ill-equipped to handle behavioral health patients, and the lack of adequate spaces and specialized staff provide an opportunity for safety concerns.
For more information on mental health in Rapid City, please visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.
On February 1, 2017 Rapid City Regional Hospital’s Behavioral Health Center stopped admitting patients with "neurodevelopmental/cognitive disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or Autism Spectrum Disorder," per a letter sent by the Regional officials. The Rapid City Journal reports Black Hills residents who need inpatient care are now required to drive 350 miles to Sioux Falls. The Rapid City Journal estimated 200 families are affected by autism spectrum disorder.
The Autism Society of the Black Hills worries because the nearest place to receive care is now a five hour drive away. Children experience a number of challenges living with autism spectrum disorder and often families seek help from trained professionals in the form of inpatient care.
Senior living facilities provide care for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
Rapid City Collective Impact (RCCI) gathered mental health practitioners to discuss Native American behavioral health care options, reports KOTA News. The group gathered as part of RCCI’s efforts to meet with each other and determine areas where the groups could collaborate with each other.
The Director of Oaye Luta Okolakiciye, Gene Tyon, emphasized that cultural approaches to addiction and mental health therapy can have a substantial impact on patient outcomes. The workgroup will meet again in March to further their discussions and ideas.
To read more about health and wellness in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
Governor Dennis Daugaard and the South Dakota Department of Social Services provided recommendations regarding Medicaid policy at a roundtable conversation hosted by the Senate Finance Committee, according to a press release by the State of South Dakota. The governor recommended creating work referral programs and wellness exams or performance benchmarks for Medicaid enrollees in order to reduce state Medicaid expenditures.
The governor also continued to advocate for the Indian Health Service and Medicaid reimbursement issue which came to the forefront in the 2016 Medicaid expansion discussions. Under the agreement, the federal government would cover 100 percent of Medicaid expenditures for American Indians who are eligible for Medicaid. Currently, this cost is split between the state and federal government.
To read previous news stories regarding Medicaid in South Dakota, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
While U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Bob McDonald issued a decision to relocate most of the VA services in Hot Springs to Rapid City, a legislative issue is preventing the agency from utilizing funding for the reconfiguration. As reported by KOTA News, VA officials are currently working with the South Dakota delegation to remedy the issue.
Once a solution for the funding concern has been found, it could take as many as three to five years to build a new VA system in Rapid City. However, building expansion projects may cause further delays to the move.
To read more about the Hot Springs VA, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
After years of public feedback years of deliberation, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the majority of the agency’s facilities in Hot Springs will close while an in-patient residential treatment facility will open in Rapid City, reports the Rapid City Journal.
The closure of the hospital in Hot Springs may result in nearly 300 lost jobs. After considering public input, the VA decided to repurpose a portion of the Hot Springs facility into a call center for the agency which will create approximately 120 jobs. The new treatment facility in Rapid City is anticipated to bring 100 new jobs to the city.
To read more about the Hot Springs VA, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.
The South Dakota Department of Health approved a contract with CSI Aviation, Inc. for medical flight missions reports KOTA TV. CSI Aviation is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and works to provide aviation services meeting a variety of consumer needs.
The contract between the SD Department of Health and CSI Aviation, Inc. includes flexibility. Marc Ramthun, Vice President of Sales, said that CSI arranged medical transport for years and will town have more capabilities by using their own employees and aircraft. The flights will have accredited medical personnel and the top air safety.
South Dakota voters may decide on physician assisted suicide in the November 2018 election, reports KOTA News. Petitions to place the measure on the 2018 ballot are currently being circulated.
The measure would allow a physician licensed in South Dakota to prescribe drugs to terminally ill patients in order to end their lives. The patient's disease must be incurable and irreversible, and the patient must not be expected to live longer than six months. Patients must make two oral requests to their physician, separated by 15 days, as well as making a written request witnessed by two other people. The request may be canceled at any point during the process.