South Dakota hospital suing IHS for $6.5 million

Martin, South Dakota (AP) October 2012

A South Dakota hospital that nearly closed earlier this year because of financial problems is suing the Indian Health Service, saying the federal agency doesn’t pay its bills.

The Bennett County Hospital in Martin is trying to collect more than $1.65 million in fees for care provided to members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

The Argus Leader newspaper reports ( ) that the hospital’s demand of $1.65 million represents the difference between the IHS payments the hospital has received and the $2.2 million in care provided to Native American patients since 2007.

The IHS did not immediately respond to the lawsuit. The agency has said in the past that it is not responsible for some bills under its guidelines.