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'The buck stops here,' commissioner says, laying out a reform plan at Minnesota DHS

A senior official from the Walz administration acknowledged Monday that the state Department of Human Services (DHS) has been "soft around the edges" for 10 to 20 years, but denied that the agency is in "free fall." In her most comprehensive remarks since taking over the huge agency in September, Commissioner Jodi Harpstead acknowledged the financial and personnel missteps that have produced repeated embarrassments since early summer.

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Health Care

12/10/2019

article New Commissioner Of Scandal-Plagued DHS Presents First Report To Senate Committee
(Minnesota) -- A leading Republican says she believes there is a culture of retaliation and fear at the scandal-plagued Minnesota Department of Human Services. Senator...

12/6/2019

article State will invoice counties for $9M in overpayments
(Minnesota) -- A letter issued Thursday by the state of Minnesota outlines how it will invoice counties for their share of $8.8 million in overpayments by the federal...

12/2/2019

article 'The buck stops here,' commissioner says, laying out a reform plan at Minnesota DHS
(Minnesota) -- A senior official from the Walz administration acknowledged Monday that the state Department of Human Services (DHS) has been "soft around the edges...

11/27/2019

article With few choices and ‘a lot of unknowns,’ some rural school employees are wary of new health plans
(Washington) -- Joni Scott teaches language, arts and history at Wellpinit High School and has done so for more than 30 years. She lives in the community, on the Spokane...

11/26/2019

article Researchers Work to Expand Palliative Care Among Native Americans
(South Dakota) -- A national team of researchers are collaborating to improve access to palliative care among tribal communities in the United States. The project will...

11/18/2019

article MN DHS announces 3 mistakes that will cost taxpayers $10 million. Here they are.
(Minnesota) -- Taxpayers will be on the hook for at least $10 million as a result of three separate mistakes by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the agency...

11/7/2019

article 5 American Indian and Alaskan Natives Working to Improve Native Health
(Washington D.C.) -- November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. This annual celebration invites us to reflect on Indigenous cultures and traditions...

10/31/2019

article Another hearing about DHS tribal overpayments, still few answers
(Minnesota) -- The $29 million question continues to be the same: Why did the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) overpay two Native American tribes $29 million...
article Walz: Tribes should be 'held harmless' after $29 million DHS overpayment
(Minnesota) -- One day after state auditors reported "troubling dysfunction" at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, leading to tens of millions of...

10/30/2019

article 'No one steps up to serve' more than Native Americans, yet they are poorest, least insured vets
(Washington D.C.) -- Native Americans and Native Alaskans are more likely to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces than any other group, yet they remain among the poorest and...
article Another hearing about DHS tribal overpayments, still few answers
(Minnesota) -- The $29 million question continues to be the same: Why did the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) overpay two Native American tribes $29 million...
article Minnesota watchdog says he alerted FBI about tribal overpayments
(Minnesota) -- Minnesota’s top watchdog said Wednesday that he’s alerted the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office about $29 million in unauthorized payments...
article The Startling Scale Of Dysfunction At Minnesota’s Department Of Human Services
(Minnesota) -- Minnesota’s Department of Human Services admits it make a mistake when it overpaid Native American tribes by $29 million for opioid treatment...

10/29/2019

article Audit: ‘Troubling dysfunction’ at DHS led to overpayments to tribes
(Minnesota) -- “Troubling dysfunction” at the Minnesota Department of Human Services led to $29 million in overpayments of federal funds to two tribes over...
article Report: Dysfunction at agency led to overpayments to tribes
(Minnesota) -- Minnesota's legislative auditor's office said Tuesday that it found "troubling dysfunction" at the state Department of Human Services...

10/28/2019

article Legislative auditor to report on overpayments to 2 tribes
(Minnesota) -- Minnesota's legislative auditor is preparing to release a special review of big overpayments made by the state Department of Human Services to two...

10/20/2019

article Dental care remains out of reach for many in South Dakota
(South Dakota) -- Tooth decay, gum disease and many other oral-health illnesses are considered to be 100% preventable, yet many children and adults across South Dakota...

10/19/2019

article Some Medicaid costs avoided with Native American population, but that may not be enough to sway stakeholders
(Oklahoma) -- For many health advocates, watching states expand Medicaid while Oklahoma forgoes billions in federal funding to do the same has been frustrating. For...

10/6/2019

article Uninsured Native Americans often lack needed prenatal care. Is there help available?
(USA) -- For almost two years, Sylvia Valenzuela relied on the federal Indian Health Service system to get the primary care she needed. But when she had to see an OB-GYN...
article Why was a pregnant, sick mother of three mistakenly kicked off Medi-Cal?
(California) -- Sylvia Valenzuela was in bed for two months early in her pregnancy because of severe nausea and vomiting caused by a rare condition. At a time when she...

10/4/2019

article Uninsured Native Americans often lack needed prenatal care
(California) -- For almost two years, Sylvia Valenzuela relied on the federal Indian Health Service system to get the primary care she needed. But when she had to see an...

10/3/2019

article Report says tribal health insurance increased but behind U.S. average
(Washington D.C.) -- The number of people who showed up at at Indian Health Service facilities with health insurance rose from 64 percent of patients in 2013 to 78...

9/27/2019

article Rep Ruiz and Chairman Pallone introduce bills to address Native American health disparities
(Washington D.C.) -- Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. introduced two bills Thursday to address health disparities...

9/26/2019

article DHS estimate of tribal overpayment grows to $29M
(Minnesota) -- The Minnesota Department of Human Services says it underestimated the amount of money it overpaid two Native American tribes for substance abuse treatment...
article Tribal Officials Tell Oklahoma Lawmakers Medicaid Expansion Would Help Their Citizens
(Oklahoma) -- Tribal officials told Oklahoma’s health care working group Medicaid expansion could make a difference in their under-funded health systems. The...

9/24/2019

article Overpayments to two tribes exceeded $29 million, new DHS records show
(Minnesota) -- New figures released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services on Tuesday, Sept. 24, show the state overpaid the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the...

9/3/2019

article Tribes push for historic carve-out in CRA reform plan
(New Mexico) -- Expanding the health care center in Kewa Pueblo, a census-designated part of New Mexico home to the Native American tribe of the same name, is about more...

9/2/2019

article Tribes push for historic carve-out in CRA reform plan
(New Mexico) -- Expanding the healthcare center in Kewa Pueblo, a census-designated part of New Mexico home to the Native American tribe of the same name, is about more...

8/22/2019

article Curyung Tribe to leave Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
(Alaska) -- The Curyung Tribe is leaving the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation. In a statement, Robert Clark, President and CEO of BBAHC, said the corporation "...

8/21/2019

article Curyung Tribe, BBAHC’s largest tribe, will withdraw from health corporation
(Alaska) -- The Curyung Tribe is leaving the Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. In a statement, Robert Clark, president and CEO of BBAHC, said the corporation “does not...
article Northern Manitoba First Nations people rally for better health care
(Manitoba) -- A St. Theresa Point man says he is sick of living in this "concrete jungle" and wants to go home to his remote First Nation. Roy Harper says he...

8/11/2019

article Minnesota Republicans to press for answers about DHS leadership turnover, overpayments to tribes
(Minnesota) -- Minnesota Republicans who have called for an explanation about turnover and turmoil within the Department of Human Services may get some answers this week.

8/9/2019

article MN Republicans to press for answers about DHS leadership turnover, overpayments to tribes
(Minnesota) -- Minnesota Republicans who have called for an explanation about turnover and turmoil within the Department of Human Services may get some answers next week...

8/7/2019

article Emails to tribes: DHS previously advised billing rates it now calls ‘overpayments’
(Minnesota) -- Two Minnesota tribes are pushing back on what the Department of Human Services calls overpayments of more than $25 million over the last five years for...
article Leech Lake Band: State agency told tribal officials Medicaid billing was correct
(Minnesota) -- The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has produced email correspondence that the band says proves the state of Minnesota should be on the hook for more than $13...

8/3/2019

article Minnesota agency may have overpaid 2 tribes by $25M
(Minnesota) -- New revelations about overpayments to two American Indian tribes are bringing more scrutiny to Minnesota's Department of Human Services. The...
article State could be on the line for $25 million apparently overpaid to 2 tribes
(Minnesota) -- The state could be on the line for repaying more than $25 million to the federal government after the Minnesota Department of Human Services played a role...
article Bill would expand health care options for Native veterans
(New Mexico) -- A bill introduced in Congress would expand health care options for Native American veterans.New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall and California Rep. Ro Khanna...

8/1/2019

press release Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Responds to Overpayment Allegations Made by Minnesota Department of Human Services
(Minnesota) -- On May 1, 2019, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (“DHS”) issued a letter to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (the “Band”)...
article Legislative auditor investigating $25 million in Minnesota overpayments to tribes
(Minnesota) -- The state's top government watchdog has launched an investigation into a report that the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) overpaid two...
article Minnesota DHS overpaid tribes by $25.3 million for substance abuse treatment
(Minnesota) -- The Minnesota Department of Human Services overpaid tribal governments $25.3 million for treatments covered under Medicaid, according to internal memos...
article Report: DHS Overpaid Tribes By $25 Million
(Minnesota) -- A Minnesota American Indian tribe is disputing that the state Department of Human Services overpaid the tribe millions of dollars. The Leech Lake Band of...

6/26/2019

article VA policy restricts ‘meaningful access’ to benefits for Native Americans
(New Mexico) -- Inside a small conference room in a hotel-casino on the Ohkay Owingeh reservation, attorney Carol Wild Scott sat across the table from veterans and their...

6/12/2019

article Native American Student Association president devoted to improving health care for native people
(Alaska) -- Caleb King grew up in Alaska, where 50 percent of the United States' federally recognized Native American tribes reside. Now at Indiana University...

5/17/2019

article Stitt not supportive of Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma
(Oklahoma) -- Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is not too keen on expanding Medicaid under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” Or...

5/8/2019

article Gov. Inslee signs state Indian Health Improvement Act
(Washington) -- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law, Tuesday, an act aimed at using a federal Medicare and Medicaid policy update from 2016 to work toward...

5/5/2019

article Tribal, rural communities face off against dentists in debate over creating mid-level dental provider
(Nevada) -- Growing up, Dawna Brown watched her grandmother eat everything: Antelope, deer brains, fish eyes, the meat of the cui-ui fish after painstakingly picking out...

4/16/2019

article Doctor discusses Native health care changes
(Oklahoma) -- Although Dr. Phil Smith has dedicated his life to medicine, his early care was provided by women who were not medical professionals - at least, in the...

4/15/2019

article Native American health care bill heads for governor’s desk
(Washington) -- As the state legislative session begins to wind down to its April 28 conclusion, a Native American health care bill is headed to Gov. Jay Inslee’s...

3/30/2019

article Co-chair of new Indian health task force played role in blowing up Indian health law
(Washington D.C.) -- The co-chair of a new task force that is investigating the Indian Health Service played a key role in getting the Trump administration to abandon...

3/25/2019

article Trump administration asks court to completely repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act
(Washington D.C.) -- In a significant shift, the Justice Department now says that it backs a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the signature Obama-era health law....

2/17/2019

article Medicaid expansion has changed the landscape for Native American health care
(Montana) -- Todd Wilson has seen first-hand the positive feedback loop that comes from having more people who seek care at Leo Pocha Memorial Clinic walk in the door...

12/25/2018

article Health Crisis Ongoing for SD's Native Americans
(South Dakota) -- South Dakota is one of 14 states that has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a move that would improve healthcare services for the...

12/15/2018

article In Weaponized Courts, Judge Who Halted Affordable Care Act Is a Conservative Favorite
(Texas) -- In the 11 years Judge Reed C. O’Connor has been on the federal bench, he has become a favorite of Republican leaders in Texas, reliably tossing out...
article Legal experts rip judge’s rationale for declaring Obamacare law invalid
(Texas) -- A federal judge’s ruling declaring the entire Affordable Care Act invalid came under harsh attack Saturday from legal analysts who predicted higher...

12/14/2018

article Obamacare Thrown Out by Judge, Raising Insurance Uncertainty
(Texas) -- Obamacare was struck down by a Texas federal judge in a ruling that casts uncertainty on insurance coverage for millions of U.S. residents. The decision...

11/17/2018

article Inuk woman's tell-tale botulism symptoms would have been taken seriously if she'd been white, says her widower
(Quebec) -- A man from Inukjuak said the failure of a nurse stationed in the northern Quebec community to recognize the signs of botulism cost his wife her life, and it...

10/24/2018

article Sick children from Quebec's remote regions now accompanied by parents 'in 98% of cases'
(Quebec) -- The government agency that manages Quebec's air-ambulance service said parents have been able to accompany their children on emergency flights in "...

10/23/2018

article With Federal Change On Indian Health Service Care, State Is Spreading Medicaid Money Farther
(South Dakota) -- The South Dakota Board of Social Services learned more Tuesday about state government's effort to spread Medicaid dollars farther. Officials said...
article With Federal Change On Indian Health Service Care, State Is Spreading Medicaid Money Farther
(South Dakota) -- The South Dakota Board of Social Services learned more Tuesday about state government's effort to spread Medicaid dollars farther. Officials said...

10/16/2018

article 'Nickel and diming health care is costing lives up north,' family says after man dies en route to appointment
(Manitoba) -- The family of a heart patient who died while on a 10-hour bus ride to his appointment says his death highlights major gaps in the health-care system for...

10/12/2018

article How Federally Funded Health Care is Failing Native Americans
(Washington D.C.) -- Indian Health Service (IHS), the federally-funded health care program for American Indians and Alaska Natives, is the primary source of health care...

8/31/2018

article Wyoming's tribes could finally get health care funding... but not the way they hoped
(Wyoming) -- After Wyoming failed to expand its Medicaid program on the Wind River Indian Reservation several years ago, health care providers partnered with the state...

7/28/2018

article ‘A different level of intensity’: Collins and Murkowski find pressure over Supreme Court lacks emotional pleas on health care
(Washington D.C.) -- Last year’s Republican effort to repeal Obamacare might seem quite similar to this summer’s battle over the nomination of Judge Brett M...

11/23/2017

article Paiute Tribe elders navigate a faltering health care system
(Nevada) -- Dennis and Betty Smartt live in a neatly painted white-and-blue home on the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Reservation, on the Nevada-Oregon border. They...

9/27/2017

article Cronkite News: Republican health bill collapses as Democrats air concerns about tribes
(Washington D.C.) -- Senate leaders abandoned their latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, saying Tuesday that they would turn their attention to...

9/25/2017

article Sen. McCain delivers blow to latest Republican health care bill
(Washington D.C.) -- Sen. John McCain said Friday that he cannot “in good conscience” vote for the latest plan to replace Obamacare, a surprise announcement...

8/23/2017

article IDENTITY: Native health care: it is complicated
(Alaska) -- When it comes to health care in the U.S. there is no lack of social and political narratives vying for attention. Likewise, the facts are not easy to...

7/28/2017

article What’s Next for Health Care? Confused Congress Should Look to Indian Country
(Washington D.C.) -- Senate Republicans campaigned against Obamacare for seven years. Yet there was never an alternative that had support from a majority of their own...
article Arizona response muted after McCain's 'no' on health bill
(Arizona) -- Sen. John McCain sent shockwaves through the Senate early Friday morning when he cast the deciding vote rejecting the GOP's heath care effort to repeal...

7/27/2017

article Chief Baker urges Senators Inhofe, Lankford to vote no on any ACA repeal
(Oklahoma) -- As the U.S. Senate moves to consider several different plans to dismantle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief...

7/26/2017

article Trump administration signals that Murkowski’s health care vote could have energy repercussions for Alaska
(Washington D.C.) -- President Donald Trump isn't going to just let Sen. Lisa Murkowski's no vote on Tuesday's health care motion go. Early Wednesday, Trump...
article Can't wait for kids to receive this service': Call to improve mental health support for Indigenous children
(Ontario) -- Indigenous children living in communities along the north shore of Lake Huron are waiting up to two years for mental health support, according to the Chief...
article Uninsured rate for Alaska Native children cut almost in half
(Alaska) -- Alaska is among the top states leading a national trend in improvements to health care coverage rates for American Indian/Alaska Native children, according...

7/18/2017

article Trump blasts Congress over failure of GOP health care bill
(Washington D.C.) -- President Donald Trump blasted congressional Democrats and "a few Republicans" Tuesday over the collapse of the GOP effort to rewrite the...

7/17/2017

article Medicaid Cuts Could Hurt Oklahoma's Native Community
(Oklahoma) -- Georgetown University indicates Oklahoma could erase gains made in Native American Health Care. The report shows Oklahoma has reduced the number of Native...
article Report Finds Mixed Results In Health Coverage For South Dakota Natives
(South Dakota) -- For about a decade the rate of uninsured Native American children in South Dakota declined by almost fifty percent. In the same period, the rate of...
article Report: Rate of Native American Uninsured Fell Under Obamacare
(USA) -- Uninsured rates for Native Americans have declined significantly in Arizona and the country as a whole since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, or...

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