January 20, 2015 |  Issue 15-03





IHS All Tribes Call
January 22, 2015

IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee 
January 27-28, 2015

Washington, DC


Affordable Care Act National Tribal Day of Action 

February 2, 2015


Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee

February 4-5, 2015

Rockville, MD


IHS FY 2017 National Budget Formulation Work Session

February 10-11, 2015

Washington, DC


CDC TAC meeting and Tribal Consultation

February 10-11, 2015

Atlanta, GA


Medicare, Medicaid Policy Committee Meeting

February 17, 2015

Washington, DC 


CMS Tribal Technical Advisory Group 

February 18-19, 2015

Washington, DC 


Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee Meeting 

February 18-19, 2015

Nashville, TN


HHS Tribal Budget and Policy Consultation

February 25-26, 2015

Washington, DC


Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting

March 17-18, 2015

Washington DC


NIHB Tribal Public Health Summit 

April 7-9, 2015

Palm Springs, CA


NIHB Annual Consumer Conference

September 21-24, 2015

Washington, DC

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In This Issue 

NIHB Updates

The National Indian Health Board's Tribal Public Health Summit will take place at the Agua Caliente Casino, Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, California  from April 7-9, 2015.  The Summit as continued to grow each year, and now in its 6th year, this promises to be the largest Summit to date.  


Registration deadlines, fees, and more information on the Summit will be available on the Summit webpage.  You can click here for more information or call our offices at (202) 507-4070. 

Tribal Public Health Summit - Call for Proposals

Public health professionals, researchers, and community-based service providers are invited to submit abstracts for the NIHB 2015 Tribal Public Health Summit, taking place April 7 to 9, 2015, at the Agua Caliente Casino, Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, California. 


NIHB encourages presentations highlighting evidenced based, best or promising practices developed in and for Tribal communities. NIHB is particularly interested in presentations that provide tools along with information and research, so that participants may leave with the tools they need to make the knowledge they gain actionable. This year's summit emphasizes strengthening the public health workforce in Indian Country, so please consider topics and content that will focus on key skills in one of the four summit tracks. 


The summit tracks include:

  • Accreditation and Quality Improvement
  • Behavioral Health and Substance Use
  • Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 
  • Public Health Law and Policy 

 To  visit our online Call for Proposals information page for additional details and instructions on submitting your proposal, CLICK HERE.

Capitol Hill Updates
Legislation Introduced to provide for Advance Appropriations for the Indian Health Service
On Wednesday, January 14, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) introduced H.R. 395 which would provide for Advance Appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS). Tribes and Tribal organizations have been supporting this change in the way IHS is funded in order to achieve better stability in how our health care is funded. 

Advanced appropriations would mean Tribal and IHS facilities would know their funding levels one year in advance, but the funds would not be drawn down until the year in which it was spent. Congress uses a similar funding procedure for the Veterans' Health Administration. 
Advance appropriations would allow Indian health programs to effectively and efficiently manage budgets, coordinate care, and improve health quality outcomes for American Indians and Alaska Natives.  

But in order to see this legislation enacted, we will need help from you!  NIHB and its partners are encouraging Tribes to pass resolutions and send letters to Congress in support of this important issue in order to demonstrate widespread support in Indian Country. We are also encouraging you to share your story on how funding delays have impacted health care delivery at your Tribe.  Click here to learn more. 
Administration Updates


Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services released a proposed rule on Medicare Like Rates for non-hospital services.  This proposed rule would amend Indian Health Service (IHS) Purchased and Referred Care (PRC), (formerly known as the Contract Health Services) regulations to apply Medicare payment methodologies to all physician and other health care professional services and non-hospital-based services.  (IHS referrals currently use a Medicare Like Rate for hospital-based services.) 


Specifically, it proposes that the health programs operated by IHS, Tribes, Tribal organizations, or urban Indian organizations (collectively, I/T/U programs) will pay the lowest of the amount provided for under the applicable Medicare fee schedule, prospective payment system, or Medicare waiver; the amount negotiated by a repricing agent, if available; or the usual and customary billing rate.


The proposed rule states that enacting Medicare Like Rates for referred non-hospital services at IHS could save the agency millions per year for the purchased/referred care program.  IHS is seeking comments on the proposed rule and specifically the question: Should there be exceptions incorporated into the rule to permit an I/T/U to retain more flexibility over the payment rate? 


The rule follows a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2013 that recommended this important change.  You can view that report here. In June 2014, the Native CARE Act (H.R. 4843) was introduced by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) which would enact Medicare Like Rates for non-hospital services at IHS.  That legislation was not enacted by the end of the 113th Congress, so new legislation would need to be introduced for this change to occur legislatively.


Comments on the proposed rule were originally due by January 20, 2015, however IHS has extended the deadline to February 4, 2015.  NIHB will be hosting a Conference Call for Tribes only to discuss the Tribal response to the proposed rule on Friday, January 23.  After the call, NIHB will be creating a template comment for Tribes to send out.  A draft is currently available upon request.  Please contact Devin Delrow at ddelrow@nihb.org if you would like more information.  


You can read the entire proposed rule here


IHS All Tribes' Call - January 22 

Please join Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, the Acting Director for the Indian Health Service (IHS), for an IHS update by teleconference on Thursday, January 22 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Eastern.











Note:  This call is off the record and not for press purposes.  Please dial in 5-10 minutes early to avoid any delays in joining the call. 


CDC Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting February 10, Consultation February 11

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is convening a meeting of the Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) on February 10, 2015 in Atlanta, GA at the main CDC campus, 1600 Clifton Road.  The day-long meeting will consist of presentations and dialogue between Tribal leaders and CDC staff on health issues facing Indian Country.  Observers are allowed and encouraged to attend the meeting.  

On February 11, 2015, the CDC will host a formal Tribal consultation.  The consultation is open to all, and Tribal leaders and members alike are welcome to present verbal testimony to CDC leadership.  The consultation will also be taking place on the main CDC campus. NIHB staff will be present to work with the TAC technical advisory and to support the Tribal leaders present.  Additional information will be forthcoming on the CDC TAC webpage

CDC Releases Report on Disease Incidence in AI/AN Communities

According to new data published in today's MMWR, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations experienced higher rates of new infections than non-Hispanic white (NHW) populations in 14 of 26 reportable infectious diseases during 2007-2011. Although incidence rates of some infectious diseases have declined in AI/AN populations, disparities between groups remain.


CDC analyzed data from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System that collects reports on nationally notifiable diseases in the United States and its territories. Interventions are needed to reduce disparities in chlamydia, gonorrhea, West Nile virus, spotted fever rickettsiosis, and other infections among AI/AN and NHW populations.


Click here to read the report. 



Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Advisory Committee on Minority Health at the Department of Health and Human Services 

The Department of Health and  Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH), is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment as a member of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health (hereafter referred to as the ''Committee or ACMH'')


The current and impending vacancies on the ACMH impact the representation for the health interests of American Indians and Alaska Natives and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. OMH is particularly seeking nominations for individuals who can represent the health interests of these racial and ethnic minority groups.


Click here to learn more. 


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