IHS announces reorganization plan and new office of quality

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Days after the announcement of Rosebud Sioux Tribe rescinding their authorization for Great Plain Tribal Chairman’s Health Board to enter agreements for them with Indian Health Services (IHS), which reverts management of Sioux San in Rapid City to IHS care, IHS announces reorganization plan.

The new office of quality will strengthen the agency’s ongoing efforts to ensure the delivery of quality health care at federally operated facilities serving 2.2 million American Indian and Alaska Native people. Providing leadership and promote consistency in health care quality across all facilities managed by IHS and by consolidating and enhancing oversight of these efforts at IHS headquarters.

“The Indian Health Service places a high priority on ensuring the delivery of quality health care to our patients,” said Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee, IHS principal deputy director. “The IHS Office of Quality will bring together key functions and responsibilities to maximize our quality improvement efforts and integrate quality in a collaborative and organized manner across the entire IHS.”

This plan was developed in consultation with the tribes served by the Indian Health Service facilities and includes several quality improvement efforts such as:

  • Implementing a centralized credentialing software system
  • Creating National Accountability Dashboard for Quality
  • Establishing patient wait time standards
  • Developing a Patient Experience of Care Survey
  • Developing the Partnership to Advance Tribal Health, in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

This reorganization plan will be effective on January 26, 2019.

Additionally, the reorganization plan will elevate the key role of liaison to the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). This role will be performed by a dedicated full­time position in the Office of the Director to ensure appropriate attention and focus and underscore the importance of timely responsiveness to address corrective actions recommended by external authorities.

Information provided by Indian Health Services. 
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