July 14, 2014  |  Issue 14-22




31st Annual Consumer Conference 

September 8-11, 2014

 Albuquerque, New Mexico 


NIHB 2014 Native Youth Health Summit

Navajo Nation

September 5-8, 2014


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In This Issue




Contract Support Cost Bill Introduced by Congressman Don Young




CALL FOR PROPOSALS: 2014 NIHB Annual Consumer Conference 


ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: 2014 NIHB Native Youth Health Summit 


NIHB Traveling to Indian Country for Affordable Care Act Training 


Capitol Hill Updates

House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Advance Appropriations for IHS

On Tuesday, July 15, the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs will hold a hearing on several measures affecting Indian Country, including H.R. 3229, the Indian Health Service Advance Appropriations Act.  As you may recall, advance appropriations would allow IHS to get its funding allocation a year ahead of time so that IHS, Tribal and urban facilities would know their budgets in advance. It would allow Indian health programs to effectively and efficiently manage budgets, coordinate care, and improve health quality outcomes for American Indians and Alaska Natives.  This change in the appropriations schedule will help the federal government meet its trust obligation to Tribes and bring parity to the federal health care system.


If you have any information on the effect of delayed appropriations or the negative impacts of the government shutdown that occurred at the start of FY 2014, please contact NIHB so that we can share this message with Congress.  This could include unexpected layoffs, borrowing additional funds to keep the health services going, or increased denials and deferred services.  You can send your information to NIHB's Director of Congressional Relations, Caitrin Shuy, at cshuy@nihb.org or (202) 507-4085.


NIHB Chairperson Cathy Abramson will testify on behalf of the legislation.  You can learn more about the hearing here.


Please visit NIHB's legislative website for more information on advance appropriations and to learn how you can be involved. 



Spending Bill Containing Funding for IHS Advances in the House

On Wednesday, July 9, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, which contains funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), advanced its FY 2015 spending bill.  The measure was agreed to by voice vote and will be considered by the full Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, July 15.


The bill contains $4.6 billion for IHS which is an increase of $208 million for the Indian Health Service above FY 2014.  Though many of the details have not been released yet, the bill will provide an additional $51 million over FY 2014 for purchased/ referred care (formerly called contract health services).  Despite disagreement on other aspects of the bill, both sides of the aisle noted bipartisan support for the programs serving Indian Country.  Support for increases in funding for Indian programs represented the only area of agreement among Republicans and Democrats during consideration of the bill.  This is the fourth year in a row that the Committee has increased funding for IHS and BIA above the President's request.


You can read more about the bill here


The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released its FY 2015 Interior Appropriations legislation.  Both the House and Senate will have to agree on final spending levels before the legislation can be finalized. 



Contract Support Cost Bill Introduced by Congressman Don Young

Last week, Congressman Don Young (R-AK), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs introduced H.R. 5092, the Fair and Accountable IHS Recompense Act of 2014 or "FAIR Act."  If enacted, this legislation would require the Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs to submit any contract support cost shortfall reports to Congress in a timely fashion, by removing any exemption to disclosure that might otherwise be available to the agencies under the Freedom of Information Act.  


The bill would also establish that the certified data contained in these reports is presumptively accurate for purposes of assessing damage claims arising from contract underpayments that are detailed in those reports


You can read the text of the legislation here



Administration Update

Long Term Services and Supports Webinar - July 23


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Indian Health Service and the Administration on Aging will hold a webinar at 2pm EDT on Wednesday, July 23, called: "Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau to learn more about older American Indians and Alaska Natives: Counts, Definitions, and Boundaries."  The webinar will:


  1. Provide an overview of the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) data available on the U.S. Census Bureau's Website.
  2. Demonstrate how to search the website by both level of geography (AI/AN Home Land) and by Race/Ethnicity (AI/AN alone or AI/AN in combination with other races).
  3. Discuss how Tribal data are defined and reported, as well as explain how the Tribal boundaries are identified and mapped.

You can learn more about how to participate in the webinar here



NIHB Updates

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) invites proposals for skills building workshops for the 2014 Annual Consumer Conference, "Advancing Health Care through Consultation, Technology and Tradition." This year's conference will feature the following tracks:


Medicare, Medicaid and Health Care Reform 

Strategic Action: Budget, Policy and Advocacy
Health Information Technology
Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
Youth Health and Public Health
Tribal Oral Health


NIHB encourages presenters addressing the top Tribal health priorities, as identified by American Indians and Alaska Natives.  Click here for online application and more information at www.nihb.org.

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: 2014 NIHB Native Youth Health Summit

The National Indian Health Board is proud to announce that we are currently accepting applications for this year's Native Youth Health Summit.  The Summit this year is being hosted by the Navajo Nation and will take place in Window Rock, AZ, September 4-9, 2014 as an official pre-conference event to the Annual Consumer Conference.  The Youth Summit always serves to energize all youth and adults involved. There is no better investment in our future than investing in our youth. 


The Summit will allow participants to develop their own digital stories that they can then take back home to share with their Tribes, Health Board, Area and friends.  The Summit will also feature fitness activities, educational forums, and some fun activities that will bring the participants outside and interacting with the community. The Youth Summit is a wonderful and exciting opportunity to assist youth to grow in their own health advocacy and knowledge. 


The application packet and additional information are available online at http://nihb.org/communications/acc_2014_youth_summit.php.  The packet contains information on deadlines, application process, travel, fees, agenda, roles and responsibilities for both youth participants and adult chaperones. The packet also includes actual application forms that the youth will need to complete and submit to NIHB by July 31st


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Foley, Acting Director of Public Health Programs and Policy, at rfoley@nihb.org

NIHB Traveling to Indian Country for Affordable Care Act Training

This week, NIHB will be in in Fort Duchesne, Utah providing training to Tribal Leaders, Office Managers, and Community members on the Affordable Care Act for the Ute Tribe.  


This summer, NIHB will be traveling to many locations in Indian Country to provide training on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law offers new opportunities for Indian Country because it allows American Indians and Alaska Natives increased access to those health services not provided onsite at the IHS facility, and will increase the continuity of care.  The ACA also reinforces the government-to-government relationship that Tribes have with the Federal Government, as it permanently reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which is a vital component of our health care delivery system.


Other upcoming training locations include Phoenix, AZ and the Navajo Nation.  You can view the full schedule here.  


If you are interested in requesting a training for your area or community, please contact Dawn Coley, Tribal Health Care Reform Outreach and Education Program Manager, at dcoley@nihb.org or April Hale, Tribal Health Care Reform Outreach and Education Communications Coordinator, at ahale@nihb.org, or call NIHB at 202-507-4070. You may visit www.nihb.org/tribalhealthreform for information about the trainings.  

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