LINCOLN — A Winnebago hospital has resumed inpatient services, 16 months after the Winnebago Tribe took over management.

The federal Indian Health Services had closed inpatient services in early 2018 due to a shortage of staff and the loss of authorization to care for Medicare patients. Other past problems include the inadvertent infection of up to 35 podiatry patients in 2017 with diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.

In July of 2018, the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska took over management of the facility, now called Twelve Clans Unity Hospital. The switch is part of a trend in tribal management of such federally funded hospitals. There are now 22 tribally managed hospitals and 24 managed by the Indian Health Services in the nation.

The Twelve Clans hospital provides free health care for members of the Winnebago, Omaha, Santee and Ponca Tribes, as well as other Native Americans in the region.

A hospital press release said tribal management has led to a reduction in staff vacancies from 45% to 8%.

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Reporter - Regional/state issues

Paul covers state government and affiliated issues. He specializes in tax and transportation issues, following the governor and the state prison system. Follow him on Twitter @PaulHammelOWH. Phone: 402-473-9584.

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