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Sufficiency and Implementation of Indian Health Service Patient Abuse Policies

Details surrounding the recent conviction of a former Indian Health Service (IHS) physician for patient abuse raised concerns about IHS policies and procedures to prevent and address patient abuse. IHS partners with 573 federally recognized tribes to provide healthcare services to its 2.3 million American Indian and Alaska Native beneficiaries, and IHS directly operates 25 acute-care hospitals in 7 Areas. IHS has recently adopted new policies regarding this issue, including revising procedures in the Indian Health Manual, which governs IHS hospital practices. This study will evaluate the sufficiency and implementation of these policies. We will review and evaluate IHS policies and procedures related to patient abuse, including comparing them to policies developed by nationally recognized medical professional organizations. We will also conduct interviews with IHS officials and staff, and other stakeholders such as State and Federal law enforcement.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
April 2019 IHS Sufficiency and Implementation of Indian Health Service Patient Abuse Policies Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-06-19-00330 2019