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Department of Health & Human Services OIG

Indian Health Service Use of Critical Care Response Teams Has Helped To Meet Facility Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious, sometimes fatal, disease that has disproportionately affected American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). IHS and Tribal health care facilities are the main health care providers for the AI/AN population. Prior OIG work found that IHS facilities often lacked sufficient staff and had limited access to clinical specialists, as well as finding other quality-of-care concerns. One recent IHS effort to address staffing and quality concerns is its development of Critical Care Response Teams (CCRTs) to support IHS and Tribal facilities in...

Department of Homeland Security OIG

Violations of ICE Detention Standards at Otay Mesa Detention Center

During our unannounced inspection of Otay Mesa in San Diego, California, we identified violations of ICE detention standards that compromised the health, safety, and rights of detainees. Otay Mesa complied with standards for classification and generally provided sufficient medical care to detainees. In addressing COVID-19, Otay Mesa did not consistently enforce precautions including use of facial coverings and social distancing. Overall, we found that Otay Mesa did not meet standards for grievances, segregation, or staff-detainee communications. Specifically, Otay Mesa did not respond timely...

Department of Homeland Security OIG

ICE’s Management of COVID-19 in Its Detention Facilities Provides Lessons Learned for Future Pandemic Responses

ICE has taken various actions to prevent the pandemic’s spread among detainees and staff at their detention facilities. At the nine facilities we remotely inspected, these measures included maintaining adequate supplies of PPE such as face masks, enhanced cleaning, and proper screening for new detainees and staff. However, we found other areas in which detention facilities struggled to properly manage the health and safety of detainees. For example, we observed instances where staff and detainees did not consistently wear face masks or socially distance. In addition, we noted that some...

Department of Health & Human Services OIG

Medicare Beneficiaries Hospitalized With COVID-19 Experienced a Wide Range of Serious, Complex Conditions

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected millions of Americans, resulting in more than 600,000 deaths. Medicare beneficiaries have been particularly affected and remain vulnerable to new variants and additional surges of the virus. Clinicians and researchers are still working to fully understand the damage to the body from the disease and what underlying chronic conditions potentially lead to more severe complications or hospitalization. Understanding the types of conditions for which Medicare beneficiaries with COVID-19 are being treated and who was more likely to be hospitalized with...