July 30, 2014  |  Issue 14-24




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



What's Happening On Capitol Hill? 



NIHB 31st Annual Consumer Conference Information and Current Updates 


Capitol Hill Updates


August Recess is Approaching with a Continuing Resolution in Sight

This week will be the last week in session before lawmakers head back to their districts for the August recess. With the November elections around the corner, it is becoming almost certain that Congress will be headed for a continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded past the end of the fiscal year on September 30. Passing the continuing resolution in addition to supplemental funding for the immigrant children's crisis, will be a top priority when Congress returns from the August break.  


Congressional negotiators have also announced a deal on a measure to reform the Veterans' Administration (VA) which is likely to pass by the end of the week. The legislation would cost $17 billion and only $5 billion would be offset with savings from other areas. The legislation would provide for $10 billion to be used toward outside medical treatment for veterans who live far from a VA facility or cannot get service at VA. It would also provide $5 billion to hire additional medical staff and increase debt reduction payments for VA health staff. 


Senator Begich Introduces Two Bills on Contract Support Costs

Last Thursday, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) introduced two pieces of legislation that address Contract Support Costs (CSC). S. 2669, "Self Determination Commitment to Tribes Act," would make CSC payments mandatory spending as opposed to discretionary. This means, that these payments would not rely on annual appropriations from Congress but would be automatically funded. Click here to see the National Indian Health Board's resolution supporting mandatory funding for CSC.


S. 2668, "The Self-Determination Contract Reporting Commitment to Tribes Act" would require that the Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) submit CSC shortfall reports in a timely fashion and require that the shortfall reports be made available to the public. These reports would be used to accurately assess damage claims arising from contract underpayments to ensure a quicker payment process and help to resolve past underpayments to Tribes. As you may recall, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives last week.  


August is Coming -- help support SDPI by requesting a Congressional Site Visit!

The Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) is funded only through September 30, 2015. We need to act now to build support in Congress for the seamless continuation of this life-saving program. During August, Members of Congress will be working in their local areas, and this is a perfect time to invite them to visit your SDPI program!  


Site visits to your Tribe's SDPI location are an effective way for Members of Congress to see firsthand how federal dollars are working and saving money and lives at home. You are the faces. You are the stories. With your continued support, we will get this program renewed!  


NIHB is stepping up to be your partner in this effort by providing resources like an SDPI Site Visit Toolkit, ongoing communications, and staff support to ensure you can schedule and host a successful visit with your Members of Congress. Click here for a Toolkit on how to host a SDPI site visit.


So please, join with NIHB and participate in this exciting effort. Together we can make a real difference and ensure a strong and continued federal investment in SDPI.


You can learn more about past SDPI site visits and download Fact Sheets by visiting: http://www.nihb.org/sdpi/host.php  


NIHB Updates

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) invites proposals for the 2014 Annual Consumer Conference, "Advancing Health Care through Consultation, Technology and Tradition." This year's conference will focus on 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 is 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 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.


This summer NIHB will be holding several training sessions across Indian Country including locations in Navajo Nation.  Topics in the training include:  

  • Overview of Affordable Care Act (ACA)

  • Health Insurance Marketplace

  • Medicaid Expansion and CHIP

  • Exemption Waivers

  • Large Employer Shared Responsibility Provision of the ACA

  • New Opportunities for Direct Service Tribes with 638 and Purchased/ Referred Care

  • Implications for Tribal Communities and Individuals


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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