Dear Tribal Leader Letter Tracker
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December 29, 2021
Dear Tribal Leader Letter from IHS Seeking Tribal Consultation on Funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
On December 29, the Indian Health Service (IHS) released a Dear Tribal Leader Letter on the allocation of $3.5 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Specifically, the IHS is seeking additional Tribal Consultation for this funding to discuss the IHS Sanitation Facilities Construction program. The consultation will be held on January 5, 2022 from 3PM-6PM ET and comments are due January 21, 2022. To attend the consultation, click here. Comments can be sent to [email protected].
December 15, 2021
IHS Adds Additional Consultation, Extends Comment Period for Funding Distributions
On December 15, IHS announced that they would be holding an additional consultation on their plans to distribute funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the pending Build Back Better Act. The agency had previously held a consultation on these funds on December 14. NIHB provided assistance to Tribal leaders with talking point preparation in advance of the previous consultation. The new consultation will on the same subject matter as the previous consultation so any previous talking points are still useful to bring up to the agency. The next consultation will be held on December 22. Comments are due on January 21. It is important for Indian Country to remain engaged on these funds. More information on the allocations are available in IHS’s November 22 Dear Tribal Leader Letter on the matter. These funds address the public health workforce, as well as sanitation facilities. It is important that Indian Country is heard on these funding distributions and NIHB is ready to offer any assistance that may be needed in the drafting of final comments.
December 13, 2021
HHS Extends Comment Deadline on Strategic Plan, Announces Virtual Consultation
On December 13, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter (DTLL) extending the comment deadline on the five-year Strategic Plan (2022-2026) until January 6, 2022. They have also announced a virtual consultation on January 13th. According to the DTLL, the Strategic Plan seeks to accomplish five goals, which are outlined below: Strategic Goal 1: Protect and Strengthen Equitable Access to High Quality and Affordable Healthcare • Strategic Goal 2: Safeguard and Improve National and Global Health Conditions and Outcomes • Strategic Goal 3: Strengthen Social Well-being, Equity, and Economic Resilience • Strategic Goal 4: Restore Trust and Accelerate Advancements in Science and Research for All • Strategic Goal 5: Advance Strategic Management to Build Trust, Transparency, and Accountability On November 22nd, NIHB submitted a letter to HHS on this matter. Among other requests, NIHB asked for a live Tribal consultation where Tribal leaders can offer input on the Strategic Plan.
November 23, 2021
Upcoming Listening Sessions with VA on the Reimbursement Agreement Program
On November 16, 2021, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration released a Dear Tribal Leader Letter inviting Tribal Leaders and Tribal health program leadership to two upcoming virtual listening sessions. VA requests input regarding areas of concern, ambiguity, and suggested improvement for reimbursement agreements between VA and the Indian Health Service (IHS) or Tribal health programs, particularly related to Purchased/Referred Care (PRC). VA will use input gathered from these listening sessions to hold a subsequent Tribal consultation on the design and adoption of a new agreement template. Recent policy changes – including the updated VA-IHS Memorandum of Understanding (October 2021) and the Proper and Reimbursed Care for Native Veterans Act (January 2021) – necessitate the adoption of a new reimbursement agreement template. The first listening session on December 16, 2021 (3pm ET; join here) will focus on Purchased/Referred Care; a second listening session on January 13, 2022 (2:30pm ET; join here) will focus on the updated reimbursement agreement template. VA seeks input on high volume PRC services; most prevalent types of contracted travel and historical volume; issues related to the claim submission process; and other recommendations related to these services and Tribal communities. Comments can also be submitted to [email protected] until February 13, 2022. You may view a quick summary of the rule here.
November 22, 2021
DTLL on New Funding Distributions
On November 22, the Indian Health Service (IHS) released a Dear Tribal Leader Letter to initiate Tribal consultation regarding the allocation of new funds. These funds include $210 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (2021), $3.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (2021), and $2.35 billion currently under consideration by Congress in the Build Back Better Act. These funds will be used to support a variety of needs including public health workforce activities; sanitation facilities construction; health care facilities construction and maintenance; behavioral health; and more. For more detail on the new funding, click here. The virtual Tribal consultation will take place on December 14, 2021, from 1PM to 3PM EST. To join the consultation on December 14, click here. NIHB will provide talking points and support for the consultation. Written comments on the distribution of these funds are due December 23, 2021 and can be emailed to [email protected] For questions, please contact Christopher Chavis, Policy Center Director, at [email protected].
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