March 7, 2016 |  Issue 16-8

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 

MMPC Annual Spring Retreat
June 14-15, 2016
Location: TBD

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 Labor, HHS, Education Subcommittee Calls Attention to Suicide Prevention in Indian Country; and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to Consider FY 2017 Funding for Indian Health. Tribal Leaders Participate in HHS Budget Consultation; CMS will be holding an All Tribes' call to Review the New 100% FMAP Policy; Tribal Healthcare Reform Update- NIHB does Training in New Mexico and Important Tax Info!; and the Administration Announces Upcoming Gen-I Events. Upcoming March and April Tribal Accreditation Learning Community (TALC) Webinars.

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
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 register now!

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 Labor, HHS, Education Subcommittee Calls Attention to Suicide Prevention in Indian Country
Last week, the Acting Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Kana Enomoto, testified before the House Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee on the FY 2017 President's Budget Request.  During the hearing, Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) asked about SAMHSA's efforts to focus on at-risk groups when it comes to suicide prevention, especially American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Ms. Enomoto explained that that the Zero Suicide Initiative, requested by SAMHSA in the FY 2017 budget request, is a proven intervention that focuses on recording suicide attempts, ensuring follow up, and connection for individuals to community services.  She said that the program can reduce the suicide rate in a fixed system by up to 50-80%.  She mentioned that the White Mountain Apache Tribe who has set up a monitoring system and training providers and community members about the signs and symptoms of suicide.   SAMHSA's $5.2 million Tribal set aside for the Zero Suicide Initatie will focus in on the health system and are looking at ways to do comprehensive, multi-sector community approaches.  The Indian Health Service has also requested funds for the Zero Suicide Initiative that will be focused in IHS facilities. 
She also mentioned that SAMHSA will give 100 new grants this year to Tribes under the Tribal Behavioral Health Grants.  The agency will look to creating community derived outcomes so that the Tribe identifies what the meaningful outcome will be.  She acknowledged that many Tribal communities have difficulty meeting outcomes based on data that they don't collect, or issues that are not relevant to their communities.  "We want [the Tribes] to be able to find a sustainable and meaningful way to address the dual problems of suicide and substance use in the community," she said.
Chairman Cole commended Ms. Enomoto for the work they are doing in Tribal communities and acknowledged the unique problems that occur in Tribal communities.
You can watch the hearing here (the question on Tribal communities starts at 1:23:56).
Senate Committees to Consider FY 2017 Funding for Indian Health
This week, two Senate Committees will hold hearings on FY 2017 funding for Indian Health.  On Wednesday, March 9, at 10AM EST, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the Indian Health Service (IHS), FY 2017 Budget.  IHS Principal Deputy Director, Mary Smith will testify.  She will be accompanied by Elizabeth Fowler, Deputy Director for Management Operations and Gary Hartz, Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering for IHS. You can watch this hearing online here.

Also on March 9, at 2:15PM EST, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold a hearing on "The President's FY2017 Indian Country Budget."  Principal Deputy Director Mary Smith will also testify at that hearing. You can watch that hearing here.
Administration and Organizational Updates
Tribal Leaders Participate in HHS Budget Consultation
On Thursday, March 3, 2016, Tribal Leaders from across the country met with top officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to discuss budget priorities for FY 2018.  The Administration is in the early stages of writing their budget request for next year, so they are gathering comments of Indian Country.

During the session, Tribal leaders emphasized the need to increase resources to Tribal community for health program across HHS.  Key priority issues included the need for support for long-term care services, behavioral health services, and improving wrap-around care.  Tribal leaders also discussed the need to ensure that the federal trust responsibility is fulfilled, not through competitive federal grants, which may or may not reach Tribal communities, but should be directly allocated to Tribes.  The leaders also emphasized that public health must be a priority for the federal government so that we can eliminate health disparities for American Indians and Alaska Natives. States and local governments are supported through federal public heath dollars, and Tribal leaders should also enjoy the same level of support.

NIHB Board Member and IHS Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup Co-Chair Andy Joseph presented recommendations for the Indian Health Service FY 2018.  This includes full funding for IHS at $30.8 billion. To begin a 12-year phase-in of full-funding the Workgroup recommends funding IHS at $7.1 billion in FY 2018.  The Workgroup also recommends funding for dedicated provisions of the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act (IHCIA) including Funding for Long-term Care Services; Comprehensive Behavioral Health Prevention and Treatment Program; Diabetes Prevention, Treatment, and Control;  Health Professional Chronic Shortage Demonstration Project; Mental Health Technician Program.  The workgroup will present its full request to HHS later this spring.

NIHB submitted a wide-ranging testimony for the consultation.  You can read that here.
All Tribes' Call with CMS to Review the New 100% FMAP Policy 
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Health Official (SHO) Letter to States and Tribes on February 27, 2016 providing guidance on updates to when the 100 percent federal funding policy is available for services furnished to Medicaid-eligible American Indians and Alaska Natives through facilities operated by the Indian Health Services (IHS) or Tribes.

Join the CMS Division of Tribal Affairs for an All Tribes' Call on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 2:00PM EST to review this new policy with subject matter experts. The dial-in information is listed below. There will also be a power point presentation, please register for the webinar here to view the power point during the call.  

NIHB will provide further information on 100 percent FMAP for services as well as provide technical support to Tribes as it is implemented. For more information on 100% FMAP, please contact Director of Federal Relations, Devin Delrow at
ALL TRIBES' CALL: 100% FMAP Policy Update
2:00 - 3:30 ET
Dial-in Number: 1-888-661-5157; Participant Code: 2484706

Webinar Registration: 
Tribal Healthcare Reform Update - NIHB does Training in New Mexico and Important Tax Info! 
The National Indian Health Board will be traveling to Gallup, NM from March 15-16, 2016 to partner with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid  Services to conduct a training for I/T/U staff . The event will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Gallup, NM and is open to any business office staff, benefit coordinators, patient registration staff, medical records or Purchased and Referred Care staff.

Informative sessions will include: Taxes and Health Insurance, Veterans Benefits, Social Security and Disability, Arizona Medicaid 101, New Mexico Medicaid 101.  For more information please contact

Although open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplace
ended on January 31, members of federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Corporation shareholders can enroll in Marketplace coverage any time of the year.

If you didn't have any coverage in 2015, you must pay a penalty or claim an exemption. The penalty for 2015 is $325 per adult or 2 percent of your household income, whichever is higher.

However, members of federally recognized Tribes or those eligible to receive services from an Indian Health Service, Tribal or urban Indian health program may claim an exemption from the penalty The exemption should be claimed on a federal income tax return using IRS Form 8965 must be included. Visit for more information. 
Administration Announces Upcoming Gen-I Events
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the White House will be co-hosting a series of Generation Indigenous (Gen-I) events across Indian Country this spring.  President Obama launched the Gen-I Initiative at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference to focus on improving the lives of Native youth by removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. Through new investments and increased engagement, this initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.
Expanding on the success of the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering, HHS and USDA collaboratively developed a daylong event focusing on youth leadership, skill building, and employment opportunities. Native youth ages 14-24 from your communities are invited to join these regional events.
Registration information for each session can be found here.
Upcoming Calls and Webinars
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
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