NIHB Focus Areas


NIHB is Hiring!

We are seeking qualified candidates for the following open positions based in Washington DC:

Public Health Programs and Policy Fellow

Research Project Manager: Health Care Reform Marketplace

Executive Assistant
Reports to: Executive Director

Posted - July 24, 2014

Tax Break Eyed to Help Indian Health Service Boost Staffing

By Kerry Young, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor

While serving a population that tends to be poorer and sicker than average, the Indian Health Service has struggled to staff positions in its network of far-flung and sometimes remote sites.

As of February, the service had 1,500 vacancies for health professionals, including doctors, dentists, and nurses, according to a budget document. Openings included those for psychiatric nurse practitioners in Montana, pharmacists in South Dakota and physical therapists in New Mexico...

Read Full Article (PDF)

Posted - July 22, 2014

Licensing ‘dental therapists’ could give more Americans the care they need

The Washington Post

In 2009, 830,000 visits to emergency rooms around the country could have been prevented if the patients had seen a dentist earlier. In 2011, more than half of children on Medicaid went without dental care. These facts lie behind the story of Deamonte Driver, a Prince George’s County seventh-grader who died of a preventable infection that spread from his mouth to his brain in 2007. Maryland pushed through some reforms following Deamonte’s death, but the situation across the country has not dramatically improved...

Read Full Article

Posted - July 1, 2014

Comment period for HRSA Tribal Consultation EXTENDED to July 28

Comment period for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Tribal Consultation Policy has been extended for an additional 30 days through Monday, July 28, 2014 (the original comment period was set to end June 27, 2014).

HRSA has asked for input regarding the current HRSA Tribal Consultation Policy. HRSA policy requires review of the consultation policy every two years, and revision to the policy if necessary. HRSA is seeking Tribal input and asks for comments no later than Monday, July 28, 2014.

Please continue to send comments to the dedicated mailbox:

Posted - July 1, 2014

SAMHSA Accepting Feedback on Tribal Consultation Policy

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a Dear Tribal Leader letter within the past month soliciting feedback on the latest revisions to their Tribal Consultation Policy (TCP). The policy can be read here, SAMHSA is requesting that all feedback on the revised policy be submitted via e-mail to by August 29, 2014.

Posted - June 25, 2014

Proposed CMS Rule on Certified EHR Technology

On May 20, 2014, HHS published a new proposed rule (click here to see an easy to read pdf) that would provide eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use. The proposed rule, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would let providers use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

The proposed rule also includes a provision that would formalize CMS and ONC’s previously stated intention to extend Stage 2 through 2016 and begin Stage 3 in 2017.

To submit comments please visit:!documentDetail;D=CMS-2014-0064-0002

Comments are due July 21, 2014, 11:59pm EST.

Posted - June 18, 2014

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Cancels Six Federal Trademark Registrations for the Washington Redsk*ns

Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the Washington Redsk*ns. As grounds for cancellation the Patent and Trademark Office ruled that the name is "disparaging to Native Americans" and cannot be trademarked under federal law that prohibits the protection of offensive or disparaging language. The plaintiff's lead counsel said in a press release that they "presented a wide variety of evidence - including dictionary definitions and other reference works, newspaper clippings, movie clips, scholarly articles, expert linguist testimony, and evidence of the historic opposition by Native American groups - to demonstrate that the word 'redsk*n' is an ethnic slur." The defendants in this case will most likely appeal the ruling and the trademark protection will continue through the appeals process.

For additional information see the links below:

Posted - June 12, 2014

NIHB Applauds Legislation Introduced to Provide Medicare Like Rates for All Care Purchased by the Indian Health Service

WASHINGTON, DC- June 12, 2014- Yesterday Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, introduced H.R. 4843, the "Native Contract and Rate Expenditure (CARE) Act." The bill would extend the Medicare-Like Rate cap on payments made by Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) (formerly Contract Health Services) programs at the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Tribal levels to all Medicare participating providers and suppliers. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) worked closely with Congresswoman McCollum and Congressman Cole's offices to assist in the development of this legislation and is very pleased to see the bill introduced. The introduction of this legislation is an essential first step in allowing IHS and Tribal health facilities spend precious PRC resources most effectively and efficiently...

Read More

Posted - June 4, 2014


The Indian Health Care Improvement Act, as reauthorized by the Affordable Care Act, required the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study and report to the Congress on the feasibility of establishing a Navajo Nation Medicaid Agency. A copy of the report was submitted to Congress by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The report was prepared in consultation with the Navajo Nation.

CLICK HERE to access the report.

Posted - May 29, 2014

Montana and Wyoming Tribes Testify to Dire State of Healthcare, Funding Shortfalls

Indian Country Media Network Staff | 5/28/14

Representatives of seven Montana and Wyoming reservations testified to the critical state of health care services and injustices suffered by their members during a U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing in Billings, Montana, on May 27. The Indian Health Service regional office in Billings, Montana, serves approximately 80,000 tribal members from Montana and Wyoming.

"All too often, tribal members complain of ailments but get sent home from the Indian Health Service with cough medicine or pain killers. Later we learn the situation is much more serious, like cancer," testified A.T. "Rusty" Stafne, chairman of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of northeast Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation, reported the Associated Press...

Read full article at Indian Country Media Network

Posted - May 28, 2014

CDC Announces New Series of Public Health and Chronic Disease Prevention Funding Opportunities – including an American Indian and Alaska Native-specific Grant

CDC is announcing a series of six funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) dedicated to one or more of the leading risk factors for the major causes of death and disability in the United States: tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity.

  • A number of the FOAs also address key health system improvements and community supports to help Americans manage their chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and pre-diabetes.
  • All the FOAs involve partnerships at the national, state, or local level because public health cannot solve these problems alone.
The FOAs that have already been announced and released by CDC and are posted on include:
  • DP14-1417: Partnership to Improve Community Health
  • DP14-1418: National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention
  • DP14-1419: Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)
  • DP14-1421: A Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country
  • DP14-1422: Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program and Diabetes Prevention State and Local Public Health Actions to Prevent Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke

Of particular note is DP14-1421PPHF14: A Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country. This 5-year, $14 million/year initiative aims to prevent heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and associated risk factors in American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages through a holistic approach to population health and wellness. The initiative will support efforts by American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages to implement a variety of effective community-chosen and culturally adapted policies, systems, and environmental changes. These changes will aim to reduce commercial tobacco use and exposure, improve nutrition and physical activity, increase support for breastfeeding, increase health literacy, and strengthen team-based care and community-clinical links. Funds will support approximately 12 American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages directly and approximately 12 Tribal Organizations (one of each in each of 12 IHS administrative areas) to provide leadership, technical assistance, training, and resources to American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages within their IHS Administrative Areas.

Click here to view the FOA:

Posted - May 11, 2014

Dear Tribal Leader Letters from IHS Acting Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux

IHS Acting Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux wrote to Tribal Leaders on May 9, 2014 to provide an update on the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI). The letter notes that that the SDPI program has been renewed by Congress for 1 year and that the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC) recommended that IHS continue the same funding distribution in FY 2015. The TLDC also recommended that IHS continue discussions on recommendations for any future extension that might be for multiple years, and encouraged IHS to request a waiver to allow for a continuation application rather than a competitive application.
View Letter (PDF)

On May 12, 2014, IHS Acting Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux wrote to Tribal Leaders to provide an update on Contract Support Costs (CSC). The letter addresses: 1) the Indian Health Service’s (IHS) progress on resolving past CSC claims; 2) consultation activities on a long-term solution for CSC as requested by Congress; 3) CSC appropriations and payments in fiscal year (FY) 2014; and 4) CSC in the FY 2015 President’s Budget Request.
View Letter (PDF)

Posted - May 11, 2014

CDC Announces Upcoming Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced the next face-to-face meeting of the Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC). The meeting will be hosted by the Tribes of the Bemidji Area and will be held August 12-14, 2014 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa by Traverse City, Michigan. The CDC will be sending out a Dear Tribal Leader Letter soon. This is a good opportunity to consult with Tribal leaders about challenges and successes with health and public health systems and programming, funding, access to information and data, and other related topical areas in order to funnel this information to the official Area TAC representative. As the agenda has not been published yet, it is not known what portions of the meeting will be closed and what will be open, however, attendance is encouraged and a wonderful opportunity to provide live testimony and to listen to the testimony of others.

Posted - April 7, 2014

American Indians Look to Veterans’ Model for Stable Health Budgets

By Kerry Young, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor

Groups representing American Indians are looking to adapt a strategy used by veterans’ associations to secure more stable funding for tribal health needs and relieve the strain on a system that faces some of the nation’s most serious medical crises.

The National Indian Health Board, National Congress of American Indians and the National Council on Urban Indian Health and the Maniilaq Association are backing a pair of bills (S 1570,HR 3229) that would allow the Indian Health Service to receive advance appropriations, meaning that Congress would settle on more than one year’s budget at a time. Congress began doing this for the Veterans Health Administration for fiscal 2010 with the goal of giving the agency more flexibility to do longer-term planning...

Read Full Article (PDF)

Posted - April 2, 2014

Native American Leaders Promote Affordable Care Act in National Indian Health Board Video

BILLINGS, Mont.--April 3, 2014--During its full day of free Affordable Care Act training for Tribes, today in Billings, MT, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) launched a media campaign featuring American Indian elders. The launch was marked by the national debut of a public service announcement (PSA) for American Indian and Alaska Native elders highlighting how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) improves the health care for Native elders.

Read Full Article

Posted - April 2, 2014

NIHB Tribal Public Health Summit Focuses on Building Capacity and Partnerships on First Day

BILLINGS, Mont.--April 1, 2014--The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) opened its 5th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit in Billings, Mont. with a powerful, passionate keynote address from one of Indian Country's most renowned physician and a leading resource on Indian health.

Dr. Donald Warne, Director of the Master of Public Health Program at North Dakota State University, impressed upon nearly 400 Summit attendees that to build effective public health capacity in Indian Country the investments, resources and mind-sets need to change...

Read More

Posted - March 24, 2014

National Tribal Day of Action To #GetCoveredNow

Today is the National Tribal Day of Action for Affordable Care Act Enrollment. Over 65 events are being hosted in tribal communities across the nation and President Obama wants to ensure that every American Indian and Alaska Native has the information they need to take advantage of new health care options available under the health care law...

Read full article at

Posted - March 24, 2014


Get Covered on Today's National Tribal Day of Action for ACA Enrollment

Today is the National Tribal Day of Action for the Affordable Care Act Enrollment. This is a prime opportunity for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace at

The open enrollment deadline set for March 31, 2014 is quickly approaching. And, even though members of federally recognized Tribes have a special monthly enrollment status, it is important for AI/AN individuals and families to learn about their insurance options. Whether it's purchasing insurance through the Marketplace or qualifying for Medicaid, knowing that you have quality coverage will provide peace of mind.

Read More

Posted - March 18, 2014

Comment Period for MSPI and DVPI Funding

Indian Health Service recently released a Dear Tribal Leader Letter that was calling for comments from Tribal leaders regarding potential future funding for the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative and the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative. The comment period closes on March 27, 2014. This is an important opportunity for Leaders to support two critical programs in our communities… Read More

Posted - March 14, 2014

Summary of Congressional Briefing on SDPI

On Tuesday, March 12, the office of Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) and the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) held a briefing on the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI). As you may recall, SDPI is set to expire on September 30, 2014. We have a critical opportunity to have this program renewed by March 31, when Congress must renew the Medicare Extender legislation that is typically the legislative vehicle for SDPI...Read More (PDF)

Posted - March 4, 2014

President releases the FY 2015 Budget request to Congress

Today the President released the FY 2015 Budget request to Congress. This officially kicks off the appropriation season. In the coming months, Congress will use this request as a baseline as it develops the FY 2015 budget.

Overall, the FY 2015 budget request totals $3.901 trillion and would increase taxes on the wealthy (by formalizing the “Buffet Rule”), cut the size and pay of the military and expand social programs. Most of the proposal will not be enacted by Congress, but will still serve as a benchmark as FY 2015 spending is finalized. You may also find this infographic from the Washington Post interesting:

For the Indian Health Service the President requested $6 billion, and increase of $228 million or 4 percent over FY 2014. The budget fully funds contract support costs and provides increases for Purchased/referred care (aka contract health service) for medial inflation (5%); and clinical services. The budget also restores the cuts that were made to the Indian Health professions; tribal management and self-governance accounts in the FY 2014 operating plan in order to fully fund contract support costs.

The Administration has released a brief (attached) today but more details will be shared in the coming days. Please stay tuned for a more detailed analysis from NIHB. You can view the whole Health and Human Services Department brief here:

IHS FY 2015 Budget in Brief (PDF)

Posted - February 20, 2014

Indian Health Service releases its FY 2014 operating plan

On February 18, 2014, the Indian Health Service released its FY 2014 operating plan. As you may recall, on January 17, 2014, Congress passed an appropriations bill to fund the Federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014). The law removed caps on Contract Support Costs (CSC) and created a way for the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to fully fund CSC in 2014. Given the parameters of the legislative language, the “way” to fully fund CSC was by moving money from other IHS and BIA line items into CSC.

Today, IHS released their FY 2014 operating plan which details the funding for each spending account for the remainder of the fiscal year. The plan funds Contract Support Costs and made reductions in other areas from FY 2013. Accounts receiving those reductions for FY 2014 include Self-governance ($1 million), Tribal Management ($1 million) and Indian Health Professions ($5 million).

IHS Budget Review FY2012-2014: Click Here (PDF)

IHS Budget FY2014: Click Here (PDF)

BIA Budget FY2014: Click Here (PDF)

Please contact Caitrin Shuy at with any questions on the FY 2014 budget.

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