March 21, 2016 |  Issue 16-10

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

Tribal Self-Governance Consultation Conference
April 24-28, 2016
Orlando, FL

HHS Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting
June 7-8, 2016
Nashville, TN

Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Reform Policy Committee Annual Spring Retreat
June 14-15, 2016
Nashville, TN

NIHB Annual Tribal Youth Health Summit
August 1-5, 2016
Location: TBD

Direct Service Tribes Annual Meeting 
August 30 - September 1, 2016
Rapid City, SD

HHS Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting
September 13-14, 2016
Washington, DC

33rd NIHB Annual Consumer Conference

September 19-22, 2016
Phoenix, AZ

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In This Issue

In this week's Washington Report: On April 11 during the NIHB Public Health Summit there will opportunities for Listening Sessions with Federal Officials and Pre-Summit Institutes. NIHB is hiring a Finance Director, an Events Planner/HR Manager, and a Director of Public Health Programs and Policy. NIHB Secretary Lisa Elgin testifies before House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on March 17. NIHB releases 2016 Messaging toolkit; and IHS releases final Medicare-like Rate Rule on March 21. On March 22 CDC and NIHB will be holding an All Tribes Call on the Zika Virus; and on April 8 the monthly webinar on Tribal Accreditation Learning Community will be held.

NIHB Updates
NIHB's Public Health Summit - Opportunities for Listening Sessions with Federal Officials and Pre-Summit Institutes! 
At the 7th Annual Tribal Public Health Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, NIHB will host several tribal consultations and listening sessions with federal agencies on Monday, April 11.  This is a key opportunity to have your voice be heard on issues critical to your community with top federal officials.  NIHB will be providing talking points in advance of the listening sessions to help you prepare.
Agencies included are:
  • Indian Health Service - 8:30AM to 10:30AM
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - 11:00AM to 12:30PM
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Also on April 11, NIHB will host several all-day "institutes" from 8:30-4:30PM.  They are as follows:
  • Suicide and Substance Abuse Prevention Institute
  • Strategic Planning for Health Equity
  • The Revolving door Between Culture and Health, and its Implications for Obesity in Indian Country
  • Special Diabetes Program for Indians Institute: Sharing a Culture of Wellness 

Click here to register now!

To view information about registration, including rates: click here

For more information on the Tribal Public Health Summit visit or email
NIHB is Hiring!
The National Indian Health Board is hiring for several positions in its Washington DC office including:
  • Finance Director
  • 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.
Capitol Hill Updates
NIHB testifies before House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee 
On Thursday, March 17, National Indian Health Board Secretary Lisa Elgin presented testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies on the FY 2017 Indian Health Service Budget (IHS).  The testimony was delivered as part of the subcommittee's American Indian and Alaska Native public witness hearings which heard testimony from over 70 representatives from across Indian Country.

Ms. Elgin delivered the recommendations of the Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup for full funding of IHS at $30 billion, with a FY 2017 recommendation of $6.2 billion.  She reiterated the Workgroup's top priorities of Purchased/Referred Care; Hospitals & Clinics; Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services; Mental Health; and Dental Services.   She also described the need for Congress to provide oversight over hospitals administered by the IHS, but urged the committee not to cut funding.  Other priorities included enacting advance appropriations for the IHS and funding currently unfunded provisions of the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act.  You can read NIHB's full testimony here. You can video of the hearing here (NIHB's statement starts at 2:38:29).

Subcommittee members continued to express their commitment to ensuring that IHS provides quality care to American Indians and Alaska Natives and that that they will be working directly with IHS to see needed reforms.  NIHB will also work directly with the Appropriations Committee and other members of Congress to ensure that IHS implements a strategy that has been vetted with Tribes and will lead to better health outcomes for our people. 
Administration and Organizational Updates
NIHB releases 2016 Messaging toolkit
NIHB just released the 2016 Messaging toolkit. The toolkit was designed to help Tribal organizations navigate through messaging steps for the American Indian/Alaska Native community to maximize outreach and education efforts. The toolkit is complete with a table of contents, 10 Steps Chart, 10 Steps to Getting your Message Out,  Sample Messaging, Example Social Media Posts, How to Use Email, Radio PSA, Radio Pitch.

Please click here to view the complete toolkit. If you would like NIHB to present this webinar to your organization, please contact Francys Crevier at
IHS Releases Final Medicare-Like Rate Rule
On March 21, 2016, the Indian Health Service (IHS) announced that it will be implementing a new regulation that gives IHS, Tribal, and Urban Indian health programs (I/T/Us) the ability to cap payment rates at a "Medicare-Like rate" to physician and other non-hospital providers and suppliers who provide services through the Purchase and Referred Care (PRC formally CHS) program.  The final "Medicare-Like rate" rule can be accessed here.

The new rule says that I/T/Us can negotiate with certain Indian health care providers, who provide services through Purchased and Referred Care (PRC), for payment at Medicare-like rates.  This is good news because for years, IHS and Tribal healthcare programs paid higher payment rates than private health insurers and other Federal programs, such as Medicare and the Veterans Health Administration.  The proposed rule is an opt-in and not a requirement, which gives I/Ts more flexibility.  This is in recognition of Tribal sovereignty and self-determination as Tribes have the right to negotiate with providers and determine how best to meet the needs of their community when providing health care.  This flexibility means that in some individual cases, it is better for I/Ts to be able to negotiate higher rates than what Medicare provides.  However the ability to negotiate higher rates for Tribally-operated facilities must be a reasonable pricing arrangement and in the best interest of the I/T. 
IHS recognizes that this rule will have significant Tribal implications so in order to ensure that all concerns are taken into account, it will be implemented as a final rule with another 60 days for the public to provide comment on the rule.  In addition, IHS will be conducting outreach and education to PRC administrators and participating providers and suppliers. NIHB will be discussing the new rule during its next Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Care Reform Policy Committee (MMPC) Monthly Call this upcoming Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 2 PM EDT.  We encourage you to attend and participate.  The Call-In information is below. 
Dial-In: 1-866-303-3137
Code: 594865
For more information or if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to NIHB's Director of Federal Relations, Devin Delrow at  
Upcoming Calls and Webinars
All Tribes Call: Zika Virus - Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) are hosting a Zika response conference call for Tribes to provide an overview of the Zika virus including preparation, mobilization, and current status.  Please plan on joining the call to learn about this emerging pubic health concern.
The topics for the call are designed for Tribal leaders, Tribal health officials, epidemiologists, clinicians, and environmental health professionals
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 3:00 - 4:00 pm EDT
Participant Call-in Information
Phone: 1-877-668-4493
Access Code: 734 703 585
Discussion Topics
Vector issues; Epidemiology & Surveillance; Pregnancy & Birth Defects; Laboratory Tea; Traveler & Border Health; Blood Safety
Webinar:  April Tribal Accreditation Learning Community 
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. 
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 

Follow this link 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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