August 20, 2014  |  Issue 14-26




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



NIHB 31st Annual Consumer Conference


What's Happening on Capitol Hill? 


The NIHB and Tribal Technical Advisory Group (TTAG) Submit Comments to the CMS


NIHB Updates

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) invites you to be part of the 2014 Annual Consumer Conference, "Advancing Health Care through Consultation, Technology and Tradition." The conference will take place September 8-11, at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, in Albuquerque, NM.  For more information regarding the ACC and other conference details, click here


For More Information, Please Contact Us:



Telephone: 202-507-4070

Address: National Indian Health Board 

ATTN: Annual Consumer Conference Staff 

926 Pennsylvania Avenue SE 

Washington, DC 20003


Capitol Hill Updates
Congress Heading for Continuing Resolution in September - Causing to more Short-Term Funding for the Indian Health Service and Tribes

With Congress out of Washington until after Labor Day, many budget analysts are predicting that the government will rely on a continuing resolution, or "CR", to keep the government funded past the end of the fiscal year on September 30. This means, Congress will pass a spending measure that will fund programs for a few months until they can agree on a full-year budget. The larger budget, also called an "omnibus" is likely to be considered following the November elections. Both the Senate and the House Appropriations Committees have released their drafts for Indian Health Service (IHS) spending in FY 2015. 

  • House funds IHS at $4.6 billion ($208 million more than FY 2014)
  • Senate funds IHS at $4.5 billion ($111 million more than FY 2014)

You will note the House has included a higher spending number because they reduced funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (which receives funding in the same piece of legislation) by 9 percent. Before the full-year appropriation can be made, the House and Senate will have to come to an agreement on a final number for the IHS. Stay tuned to NIHB for more FY 2015 budget updates in the coming weeks.  

Continuing Resolution Underscores Need for IHS Advance Appropriations

While we do not expect another shutdown of the government as happened at the start of FY 2014, the short term measure will negatively impact many Tribal health programs as they look to plan ahead for the next fiscal year. Instead of seamlessly being able to provide health care, they will be forced to make long-term spending decisions, such as hiring, outside contracts, and other programmatic decisions with only short-term funding guaranteed.


This is why NIHB and Tribes are urging Congress to enact Advance Appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS). Advance appropriations would mean Tribal and IHS facilities would receive their funding levels one year in advance, though the money could not be spent until the year in which it was allocated. We are currently collecting information from Tribes on how short-term or delayed funding affects health delivery in your area. Please click here for more information on how you can be involved in sharing your story.  

August is the perfect time for an SDPI Visit!

The Special Diabetes Program for Indians expires on September 30, 2015. This means that we must lay important groundwork now if we want to see this critical program renewed! SDPI has become the nation's most strategic, successful and comprehensive effort to combat diabetes. SDPI is transforming lives and changing the diabetes landscape in America.


This year, NIHB and Tribes are requesting that Congress renew this critical program for $200 million for 5 years. SDPI has not received a funding increase since 2002. By having multi-year funding, SDPI programs will have a better ability to recruit and retain staff, and they will be able to strategically plan programmatic activity so that the funding has be best long-term impact on the health of the community.


The National Indian Health Board is encouraging SDPI Grantees to host a site visit for their Member of Congress through NIHB's "Schedule, Host, Organize and Witness" (SHOW) campaign. NIHB asks that SDPI grantees contact their Member of Congress immediately to visit their program. By doing this, you will be able to demonstrate the excellent outcomes of the program and give congressional representatives first-hand information on the importance of SDPI to their constituents. This is a great opportunity to "tell your story" on why SDPI is saving lives and saving taxpayer dollars. Click here  for an SDPI site visit guide.  

Administration Update
The National Indian Health Board and the Tribal Technical Advisory Group (TTAG) Submit Comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

On July 28, 2014, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and the Tribal Technical Advisory Group (TTAG) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding a proposed regulation that would specify additional options for annual eligibility redeterminations and re-enrollment notice requirements for qualified health plans offered through the Exchange.  In our comments we suggested that CMS more fully engage in tribal consultation regarding these proposed redetermination procedures.  We recommended that the proposed reenrollment notification letters contain information pertinent to persons enrolled in zero cost sharing plan variations and exclude conflicting information that is not relevant to these persons. NIHB is also currently working with TTAG to submit language specific to American Indians and Alaskan Natives to include in the proposed notification letters. You can view NIHB's comments here  and the comments from TTAG here .


To view more comments submitted by NIHB, please visit:


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Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone: 202-507-4070
Fax: 202-507-4071
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