March 1, 2016 |  Issue 16-7

Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting
March 1-2, 2016
Washington, DC 

HHS Annual Tribal Budget Consultation
March 2-3, 2016
Washington, DC

CMS All-Tribes Call on 100% FMAP State Health Official Letter
March 8, 2016

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs FY2017 Indian Country Budget Hearing
March 9, 2016
Washington, DC

House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee AI/AN Public Witness Hearing
March 17-18, 2016
Washington, DC

7th Annual NIHB Tribal Public Health Summit
April 11-13, 2016
Atlanta, GA 

33rd NIHB Annual Consumer Conference
September 19-22, 2016
Phoenix, AZ

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In This Issue

In this week's Washington Report: NIHB is hiring a Congressional Relations Associate, an Events Planner/HR Manager, and a Director of Public Health Programs and Policy. Registration is open for the 2016 Tribal Public Health Summit, which will be held in Atlanta, GA. The House Appropriations Committee Holds Hearings on IHS, HHS; and the Senate will Consider Opioid Legislation. A friendly reminder that the HHS Tribal Budget Consultation will be this week; American Indians and Alaska Native Children's Dental Health information; Request for Tribal Comment on IHS Contract Support Costs Policy Revision; CMS Issues 100% FMAP State Health Official Letter; and FDA Announces Tribal Consultation Policy.  Webinar for Employing Dental Therapists- Access and Financial Impact; as well as webinars for the March and April TALC. 

NIHB Updates
NIHB is Hiring!
The National Indian Health Board is hiring for several positions in its Washington DC office including:
  • Congressional Relations Associate
  • Events Planner/ HR Manager
  • Director of Public Health Programs and Policy
NIHB is based on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and is at the forefront of all health policy effecting Indian Country.  Our growing staff represents a dynamic group of energetic professionals, and we are seeking candidates who are eager to help fulfill the mission of serving as "One Voice affirming and empowering American Indian and Alaska Native peoples to protect and improve health and reduce health disparities." 

For job descriptions and information on how to apply please click here.
REGISTRATION OPEN: 2016 Tribal Public Health Summit
Click here to register now!

The National Indian Health Board invites Tribal leaders, health directors, public health professionals, researchers, and community-based service providers to the 7th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit taking place on April 11-13, 2016 in Atlanta, GA. 

Click here to nominate someone for the Public Health Innovation Award.  The deadline for nominations is March 4. 

To view information about registration, including rates: click here

Host Hotel:  Hilton Atlanta: 255 Courtland St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 Phone: (404) 659-2000
A special room rate of $149.00/night has been negotiated with the host hotel. We encourage attendees to make a room reservation as soon as possible, as the room block will only be open for a limited amount of time.
For more information on the Tribal Public Health Summit visit or email
Capitol Hill Updates
House Appropriations Committee Holds Hearings on IHS, HHS
On Thursday, February 25, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies held a hearing on the Indian Health Service (IHS) FY 2017 President's Budget Request.  IHS Principal Deputy Director Robert McSwain and Deputy Director Mary Smith testified.  Mr. McSwain provided an overview of the FY 2017 Budget Request including investments in expansion in behavioral health, improving healthcare quality, capacity and workforce, and the full funding of Contract Support Costs. 
Members of the subcommittee focused their questions on the quality of care issues that have been reported in the Great Plains Region, mental health, opioid abuse issues, joint venture construction projects, telehealth and oral health issues.  You can watch the full hearing video here.

Also on that morning, Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies.  Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole asked Secretary Burwell if she had a plan to deal with the deficiencies found at three IHS hospitals in the Great Plains Region.  The Secretary responded that this is a priority issue and cited several managerial changes at IHS.   You can watch the HHS full hearing here (IHS-related question starts at 1:39:50).
Senate to Consider Opioid Legislation
This week, the U.S. Senate is expected to consider S. 524 the "Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act" which is a wide-ranging bill aimed at targeting opioid addiction.  If enacted, the legislation would expand efforts to curb painkiller and heroin abuse, increase access to medication that can reverse overdoses and launch evidence-based treatment and intervention programs.

NIHB has been working with Senate staff to ensure that Tribes and Tribal health programs are included in the newly created programs.  You can view the text of the bill here.
Administration and Organizational Updates
Reminder: HHS Tribal Budget Consultation this Week! 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will hold its Annual Tribal Budget Consultation (ATBC) on March 2 and March 3, 2016 in the Great Hall of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building at 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC.  They will also hold Annual Regional Tribal Consultations across the country. 
On Wednesday, March 2, HHS will provide Tribes time for one-on-one meetings to share their specific health and human service issues with HHS officials. At 9:00a.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2016, HHS will hold its consultation session.  

Click here for more information.
American Indians and Alaska Native Children's Dental Health
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children in our nation, and it's even more common than asthma. We know that children in Tribal communities experience significant oral health disparitiesAs Children's Dental Health Month approaches its end, a new website provides resources to help advocates for tribal health raise awareness about early childhood tooth decay. was launched by the Washington, D.C.-based Children's Dental Health Project. This website can help oral health advocates change the conversation about preschool-age cavities by helping parents recognize that tooth decay is the result of a disease process. provides talking pointsfact sheets and other content that Tribal health advocates can use to stress the importance of prevention and the need to keep early signs of decay from progressing to a cavity. This infographic promotes the website's vision for having a coordinated system, providing the oral health services needed by children who are at higher risk for cavities.
Remember, Medicaid recipients can enroll year-round, and dental services may be included up to 21 in some states. Check with your state for more information at Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may also cover dental services for children. AI/ANs can also enroll year-round. For more information, visit
Request for Tribal Comment on IHS Contract Support Costs (CSC) Policy Revision
In a recent Tribal Leader Letter dated January 7, 2016, Mr. Robert McSwain, Principal Deputy Director for the Indian Health Services (IHS) initiated consultation on the IHS Contract Support Costs (CSC) Policy.  The Indian Health Service (IHS) CSC Workgroup is in the process of revising its policy document governing the calculation and payment of CSC.  The IHS CSC Workgroup has met several times over the past two months to draft a revised policy for review and comment.  NIHB co-hosted a CSC Policy Briefing session alongside IHS, Tribal Self-Gov, and the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) at the NCAI 2016 Executive Council Winter Session on February 22, 2016.  The IHS CSC Workgroup plans to provide additional updates and training at future national and regional meetings.
The overall goal of the policy revision is to update and implement a more simplified and streamlined CSC process in 2016.  The policy has been revised in order to provide full funding of CSC, as required by the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA), as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Cherokee and Ramah cases.  Since 2014, Congress has mandated full funding of CSC and the new policy will describe how IHS calculates and pays Tribes the full CSC requirement.
The Workgroup is currently working on exhibits to the policy, as well as the Annual CSC Calculation (ACC) spreadsheet.  The Workgroup plans to meet on March 28-29 to finalize the exhibits.  The Workgroup will then likely meet again to respond to the comments that have been submitted.  Assuming the policy has Tribal support, IHS will then finalize the policy.  Please find attached, the IHS CSC Workgroup's draft policy and the latest CSC Update.   
NIHB will provide further information on the IHS CSC revised policy as well as technical support for Tribal comments in a future announcement.  Please contact Devin Delrow, Director of Federal Relations at or (202) 507-4072 for more information. You are invited to provide input in writing at the address below or by email to  Please send written comments to:
Robert G. McSwain
Principal Deputy Director
Indian Health Service
5600 Fishers Lane
Mail stop:  08E86
Rockville, MD 20857
CMS Issues 100% FMAP State Health Official Letter
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Health Official (SHO) Letter on February 26, 2016 (here) announcing significant changes in the agency's interpretation of when its 100% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) payment policy is available for services received by Medicaid-eligible individuals, who are American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) through facilities of the Indian Health Services (IHS), whether operated by IHS or by Tribes.  The SHO Letter expands the scope of services delivered by a provider that is not an IHS or Tribal provider so long as certain conditions are met.

Essentially, the SHO Letter extends 100% FMAP to services rendered through purchased referred care (PRC).  This will save vital PRC dollars so that they can be used for those AI/ANs who are not Medicaid eligible.  Under this new policy, 100% FMAP also extends to urban Indian organizations. 

In the development of this update to its policy, HHS and CMS held several Tribal Consultations and solicited comments on the parameters of its reinterpretation of section 1905(b) of the Social Security Act.  CMS received 182 comments from 91 commenters including Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations, States, and other stakeholders in support of this proposed policy change.
NIHB will  provide further information on 100 percent FMAP for services as well as provide technical support to Tribes as it is implemented. CMS intends to issue additional guidance materials as well as hold an All-Tribes Call on March 8, 2016, at 2 PM EST to discuss the new policy. The Call-in information is below.  For more information on 100% FMAP, please contact Director of Federal Relations, Devin Delrow at

100% FMAP Policy Update
2:00 - 3:30 ET
Dial-in Number: 1-888-661-5157; Participant Code: 2484706
FDA Announces Tribal Consultation Policy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the availability of a draft FDA Tribal Consultation Policy.  They are seeking your comments, feedback, and recommendations on this draft policy which will guide the development of a final FDA Tribal Consultation Policy.
The draft FDA Tribal Consultation Policy is intended to, when finalized, establish clear policies to further the government-to-government relationship between FDA and Indian Tribes and to facilitate consultation with FDA. The draft policy is based on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tribal Consultation Policy. 
You can read the draft consultation policy here and the Dear Tribal Leader Letter announcing the consultation here.
Upcoming Calls and Webinars
Webinar: Employing Dental Therapists - Access and Financial Impact
On Monday, March 7 from 1-2pm ESTCommunity Catalyst will host a webinar "Employing Dental Therapists: Access and Financial Impact" featuring John T. Powers D.D.S., Main Street Dental Care in Montevideo, MN and Sarah Wovcha, JD, MPH from Children's Dental Services in Minneapolis, MN who will discuss their experiences of employing dental therapists and the impact on their practices.

Click here for information on how to register.
Please contact me at if you have any questions. 
March and April TALC
The TALC (Tribal Accreditation Learning Community) is a free, monthly webinar series held the second Friday of every month. TALC is open to all who are interested in sharing and learning about public health accreditation in Tribal communities.  

March TALC:  Friday, March 8, 2016, 2:00-3:00pm ET

Impressions of the PHAB Site Visit Process

Martha Salyers, MD, MPH, CEM, PHAB Site Visitor

TRIBAL PRESENTATION: Forest County Potawatomi Community

Lorrie Shepherd, RN, Community Health Outreach Director

April TALC:  Friday, April 8, 2016, 2:00-3:00pm ET

Capturing Health Disparities from Surveillance Data

Bryan Hendrix, Healthcare Information Technology Specialist 
United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc.


Bobby Saunkeah, Manager, Research and Population Health 
Chickasaw Nation Department of Health

For more information and to view past webinars, please visit

 Click here to join the webinar.

Contact Karrie Joseph, or 202-507-4079 for more information.
910 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone: 202-507-4070
Fax: 202-507-4071
Thank you for visiting the Washington Report!