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The Passamaquoddy Tribe's Pleasant Point Health Center Did Not Always Meet Federal and Tribal Health and Safety Requirements

The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point did not always meet Federal and Tribal health and safety requirements for the quality of care at the Pleasant Point Health Center (PPHC). Specifically, we found that PPHC did not always have a physician who provided medical direction for the health center, clear lines of authority and responsibility between medical and administrative decision-making, medical policies and procedures (including pain-management treatment prioritization for opioid prescription and compliance monitoring), and other policies and procedures needed to comply with the requirements.

Because the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point did not provide adequate oversight and implement policies and procedures for its health center, PPHC did not always meet Federal and Tribal requirements, which increased the risk that patients did not always receive quality health care and PPHC may hire unqualified medical providers and administrative staff.

We made several recommendations to the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, including that it (1) ensures PPHC is under the medical direction of a physician, (2) establishes clear lines of authority and responsibility between medical and administrative decision-making, and (3) develops and implements medical policies and procedures to comply with health and safety requirements.

In written comments on our draft report, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point concurred with our recommendations and described actions that it has taken or planned to take to address them.

Indian Health Service