February 10, 2014  |  Issue 14- 43


Upcoming Events



Register now for the NIHB 5th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit

March 31- April 2
 Billings, MT
Holiday Inn Grand Montana

 Click here for more information!

 Upcoming Meetings

 Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting

Health and Human Services (HHS) Headquarters 

Dates: February 12-13, 2014

Location: Washington, DC     

  Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee Meeting
Chaparral Suites
Dates: February 19-20, 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Contract Support Costs Workgroup Meeting
Dates: February 24-25, 2014
Location: Washington, DC Area
IHS Tribal Budget Formulation
Dates: February 26-27, 2014
Location: Washington, DC Area
HHS-Department-wide Consultation
HHS Headquarters
Dates: March 6-7, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

In This Issue




This week, the Indian Health Service will submit a plan to Congress detailing how it will allocate its FY 2014 appropriations.  On January 17, 2014, Congress passed an appropriations bill to fund the Federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014).  The law removed caps on Contract Support Costs (CSC) and created a way for the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to fully fund CSC in 2014. Given the parameters of the legislative language, the "way" to fully fund CSC is by moving money from other IHS and BIA line items into CSC.  IHS and BIA are asking Tribes to advise them on making these difficult decisions by February 14. 


Several Tribal calls on this issue have been hosted by the White House and IHS last week.  The agencies are seeking input from Tribes on funding priorities for FY 2014.   The IHS has noted that they must find between $5 and $20 million in the IHS budget in order to be able to fully fund CSC. 


Please see the memo attached here. For any additional questions please contact Caitrin Shuy, Manager of Congressional Relations at cshuy@nihb.org or (202) 507-4085.

f Congress still struggling to Pay for the SGR Fix

As you may recall, the renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) is typically linked to the so-called "Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)" Fix, which is the formula governing how physicians are reimbursed by Medicare, as part of the "Medicare Extenders" legislation.   The Senate Finance Committee has already considered this program as part of their SGR Fix legislation (s. 1871). NIHB has talked to key staff in the House of Representatives who have also noted the strong support for this program in that chamber.


However, the overall bill that SDPI is linked to, the SGR Fix, is still in flux as Congress continues to find a way to pay for the measure. The current patch for the SGR Fix expires on March 31, 2014. It is vital that Indian Country continue to remind Congress on the importance of this program. Please call your member of Congress and remind them why we must have SDPI renewal by the March 31 deadline. Contact your member office and ask to speak to the health care aide and say, "My name is X and I am calling from X, and I am urging Senator/Representative X to insist that the Special Diabetes Program for Indians is part of the Medicare Extender package, which is usually attached to the SGR Fix. This program expires in September 2014 and is saving lives and taxpayer dollars."


You can view our SDPI Toolkit here. Click here to see a listing of Members of the House of Representatives who signed the 2013 SDPI support letter by IHS area. You can view the Senate signers here.

G Advance Appropriations - Co-sponsors needed!

Last month the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes passed a resolution that supports Advance Appropriations for the Indian Health Service. An advance appropriation is funding that becomes available one year or more after the year of the appropriations act in which it is contained and this would greatly improve the delivery of care for IHS direct service Tribes as well as compacting Tribes. You can view the resolution here.


NIHB and its partners are seeking co-sponsors for the Indian Health Service Advance Appropriations Act (s. 1570 and H.R. 3229). We are encouraging other Tribes and Tribal organizations to write letters or pass resolutions supporting the effort in order to gain co-sponsors for this initiative. You can view a sample letter and resolution here.


926 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone: 202-507-4070
Fax: 202-507-4071
Thank you for visiting the Washington Report!