Audit shows federal government needs more oversight at Indian Health facilities
An audit of five Indian Health Service hospitals, including the facility in Fort Yates, indicates doctors are not following their own rules when it comes to opioids.
The audit, from the Office of the Inspector General, says providers in the hospital are supposed to inform a patient before starting a pain treatment program, about the types of pain individuals may experience, the limitations of the medication and the possible side effects.
In a 21-patient sample , the Fort Yates facility scored 0 of 21 in the three areas.
Also, only seven of 21 patient records showed that a doctor had accessed a drug monitoring program before prescribing the medication. State leaders say there's only so much they can do.
“We can make recommendations to do it and we already have a lot of those connections with the pharmacy board and some of those groups and we could make it happen. It just takes the leadership from those communities to step up and say we're ready to do this,” said Brad Hawk, the Indian Health Systems Administrator for North Dakota’s Indian Affairs Commission.
Hawk said he’d like to see a public health unit attach to the hospital to provide education to patients about medications and substance abuse issues. He also says a revolving door of doctors and a lack of funding lead to some of the issues.
Indian Health Service issued this statement:
To read the report in its entirety, go to https://oig.hhs.gov/oas/reports/region18/181711400.pdf