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Policy Update | March 16, 2021


News

Events

Press Release: American Rescue Plan Act Passes with Historic Investment in Urban Indian Health


Washington, D.C. (March 10, 2021) – Today, the House passed H.R.1319 American Rescue Plan Act, the COVID-19 relief package. On March 6, the Senate passed the plan with a 50-49 vote. The bill includes $6.1 billion for Indian health programs with $84 million for urban Indian health and two years of 100% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage coverage (FMAP) to Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) for Medicaid services for IHS-beneficiaries. The bill is set to be signed into law by President Biden no later than March 14.

“We are encouraged by the work of Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan Act with robust funding towards urban Indian health and expanded opportunities for Medicaid-IHS beneficiaries. As our frontline health heroes at urban Indian organizations are leading the way, along with the rest of the Indian health system, in vaccinating our populations, we hope to see better outcomes for our relatives,” said National Council of Urban Indian Health CEO Francys Crevier (Algonquin). "This pandemic is far from over as Native lives are still being lost at twice the rate of non-Hispanic whites, so these critical resources will help honor trust and treaty obligations while improving outcomes for all Native communities."
 

Why is this important to UIOs?

  • The bill includes $6.1 billion for Indian health programs with $84 million for urban Indian health and two years of 100% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage coverage (FMAP) to UIOs for Medicaid services for IHS-beneficiaries.

 


NCUIH Contact: Meredith Raimondi, Director of Congressional Relations, (mraimondi@ncuih.org)
 
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Representative Ruiz (D-CA) Introduces Bill to Extend 100% FMAP to UIOs Permanently

The Urban Indian Health Parity Act (H.R. 1373), championed by Representative Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and introduced by the National Council of Urban Indian Health, as a priority legislative item, worked closely with Congressional members to advocate for resources to meet the unmet needs of Urban Indian Organizations especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage Native communities. This bipartisan legislation with 12 original cosponsors will ensure that the American Indians and Alaskan Natives living outside of Tribal lands will receive quality healthcare. The bill specifies that the federal government’s responsibility extends beyond Tribal reservations to provide 100% Federal Medical Assistance to Urban Indian Organizations.


Why is this important to UIOs?

  • With additional resources freed up by this legislation, UIOs will be able to expand patient care and provide more services to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

 


NCUIH Contact: Meredith Raimondi, Director of Congressional Relations, (mraimondi@ncuih.org)
 
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VAWA Bill Recognizes Tribal Jurisdiction Over Non-Indian Offenders

From Indianz.Com:

It’s a new era for the recognition of tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians, with Democrats once again pushing for passage of the Violence Against Women Act after years of opposition from Republicans.

Nearly every Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives is backing H.R.1620, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021, which was introduced on Monday. Key provisions of the bill ensure that tribes can arrest, prosecute and sentence non-Indians who commit trafficking, stalking and sexual assault offenses in Indian Country.

H.R.1620 expands the recognition of tribal jurisdiction to stalking, sexual assault, sexual violence and sex trafficking, which aren’t covered by existing law. Crimes against children and tribal police officers, which weren’t included in VAWA from 2013 either, also would fall under tribal authority should the bill finally make it to the White House for Biden’s signature.

The bill also takes steps to address missing and murdered Indigenous women by requiring the federal government to account for MMIW cases and improve reporting of such cases.

 


NCUIH Contact: Meredith Raimondi, Director of Congressional Relations, (mraimondi@ncuih.org)
 
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With Stimulus Bill Cleared, Infrastructure Is Next

From Bloomberg Government:

Details about when an infrastructure package will be kicked off are becoming clear, but what might be in the package, how much it will spend and how that spending will be paid for are still murky. Republicans have insisted that it can't just run up the debt, and even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that some of it will have to be paid for.

The scope problem: The surface transportation bill provides a natural vehicle for traditional transportation infrastructure. But Democrats' vision for what needs to be included in the bill is vastly more expansive, ranging from water issues to broadband to the energy grid and more, and it's not clear how those ideas will be ultimately meshed together.
 

Why is this important to UIOs?

  • UIOs are not eligible for infrastructure funding so this funding would be critical if allowable for UIOs.


 

NCUIH Contact: Meredith Raimondi, Director of Congressional Relations, (mraimondi@ncuih.org)
 
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IHS Announces Virtual Urban Confer Session & Seeks Rapid Input on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 

Please plan to participate in the Urban Confer initiated by the Indian Health Service (IHS) seeking rapid input from UIOs and Indian Country about the different uses and distribution of $6 billion for Indian health included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The virtual Urban Confer session will occur virtually on Monday, March 15 and the deadline for written comments is Friday, March 19.

DATE: Monday, March 15
SESSION TIME: 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST
CALL-IN INFORMATION: 1-800-857-6561
ACCESS CODE: 1709562
MEETING LINK: https://ihs.cosocloud.com/rp79n2pbnxzg/
ROOM PASSCODE: ihs123

The package provides funding toward a variety of activities, including:

  • No less than $84 million for Urban Indian Organizations; 
  • $2 billion for lost third-party revenue;
  • $500 million for additional health care services;
  • $140 million for information technology, telehealth infrastructure, and the IHS Electronic Health Record system;
  • $600 million for necessary expenses to administer and track COVID-19 vaccines and other related activities;
  • $420 million for mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services;
  • $600 million for construction and equipment necessary for COVID-19 response


Funds have retroactive capacity to support eligible expenses dating back to January 31, 2020, which is the date the former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary declared COVID-19 was a public health emergency. The funds will be provided on a one-time basis and can only be used for the purposes outlined in the law as enacted.

Please feel free to send your feedback to NCUIH's Director of Federal Relations, Sunny Stevenson, at sstevenson@ncuih.org for inclusion in NCUIH's written comments.


 

NCUIH Contact: Sunny Stevenson, Director of Federal Relations, (sstevenson@ncuih.org)
 
Join Meeting

Accreditation Preparation & Best Practices: The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and the Joint Commission


March 18

  • 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. EST

Presenter(s):
Mona Sweeney, CDR Shannon Beyale, Brian Robles

Objectives:
1. An overview of the AAAHC & TJC standards and recent updates
2. How to complete a UIO Facility Assessment using AAAHC & TJC standards
3. AAAHC & TJC Best Practices for UIO site visits

Register Here

Accreditation Preparation & Best Practices: The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)


April 8

  • 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. EST

Presenter(s):
Michael Johnson, CARF
Dustin Richardson, LCPC (Blackfeet), Native American Lifelines

Objectives:
1. An overview of the CARF standards and recent updates
2. How to complete a UIO Facility Assessment using CARF standards
3. CARF Best Practices for UIO site visits with special emphasis on changes during COVID-19

Register Here

Weaving Calm: A Strength-Based Approach to Addressing Stress Among Urban Native Youth During COVID-19


April 20

  • 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST

Presenter(s):
Dr. Mary Cwik, Ph.D, Assistant Scientist, Licensed Psychologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Who Should Attend?
Urban Indian Organizations

Objectives:
1. Recognize behaviors associated with stress in Native youth
2. Understand the negative impacts of stress on physical and behavioral wellness
3. Identify interventions/coping strategies/strengths-based solutions for chronic stress in Native youth
4. Identify how stress is intensified among Native communities by COVID-19

Register Here

Accreditation Preparation & Best Practices: The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)


April 22

  • 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. EST

Presenter(s):
Dr. Anupama Balakrishnan, Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley
Christina Borden, NCQA Speaker

Objectives:
1. An overview of the NCQA standards and recent updates
2. How to complete a UIO Facility Assessment using NCQA standards
3. NCQA Best Practices for UIO site visits with special emphasis on changes during COVID-19

Register Here

Webinar: IHS Tribal Forensic Healthcare Trainings  


On-Going

 

The Indian Health Service (IHS) has funded the International Association of Forensic Nurses to deliver training related to the identification, collection, and preservation of medical forensic evidence obtained during the treatment of victims of sexual and domestic violence. These trainings allow medical professionals to acquire and maintain the knowledge, skills, and competent clinical forensic practice to improve the response to domestic and sexual violence in hospitals, health clinics, and health stations within the Indian health system. 

Register Here
Julia Dreyer, Vice President, Public Policy, (jdreyer@ncuih.org)
Sunny Stevenson, Director of Federal Relations, (sstevenson@ncuih.org)
Meredith Raimondi, Director of Congressional Relations (mraimondi@ncuih.org)
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National Council of Urban Indian Health

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