NPAIHB Legislative & Policy  Update
Friday, February 28, 2020

March 5, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm PST: CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update -what clinicians need to know to prepare for COVID-19 in the U.S.
Dial in: +1 646-876-9923; Passcode:  695903771

12:30pm - 1:30pm PST: IHS All Tribes and Urban Indian Organization LeadersCall
Webinar:;  Passcode:  ihs123
Dial in:  800-857-5577; Passcode: 6703929

March 10-11, 2020
HHS Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) Meeting
Atlanta, GA

March 11-12, 2020
IHS Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC) Meeting
Alexandria, VA

March 12-13, 2020
CDC Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting
Atlanta, GA

March 17-19, 2020
NIHB National Tribal Public Health Summit
Omaha, NE

March 26-27, 2020
NIH Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting
Research Triangle Park, NC

March 31 - April 1, 2020
CMS ITU Outreach & Education Training
Seattle, WA
House and Senate Appropriations Testimony Deadlines
3/20/20: Senate Deadline for Interior Subcommittee Appropriations
3/23/20: House Deadline for LHE Subcommittee for Appropriations
5/22/20: Senate Deadline for LHE Subcommittee for Appropriations

IHS DTLL- HHS Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Health implement Commissioned Corps Directive to deploy Corps officers to Novel Coronavirus activities without supervisory or agency approval
Issued 2/6/20
Announces the HHS Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Health have exercised its authority in the Commissioned Corp Directive 121.02 "Deployment and Readiness" to deploy Corps officers assigned to HHS Operating and Staff Divisions without supervisory or agency approval. As part of the Emergency Support Function #8 implementation has begun in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus public health emergency.  The language in the MOA between the IHS, Tribes and Urban Indian programs, reflects HHS authority to deploy Corps officers to meet the needs of the mission. As of February 26, 41 Commissioned Corps officers assigned to IHS and tribal organizations are deployed in support of HHS-wide efforts to prepare for mitigating the virus' potential spread in the U.S.
IHS DTLL- Commissioned Corps Directive
CDC releases Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and guidance
Responds to the respiratory disease  outbreak  caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan  City , Hubei Province, China and which has been detected in 57 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. At this time, this virus is not currently spreading in the community in the United States.

HHS issues strategy to improve care for patients by reducing clinical burdens
Issued 2/21/20
Describes  examples of electronic health record (EHR) related burden, as well as strategies and recommendations that HHS and other stakeholders can use to help clinicians focus their attention on patients rather than paperwork, when they use health information technology (health IT). Outlines three primary goals and offers recommendations to: (1) reduce the effort and time required to record information in EHRs for health care providers when they are seeing patients; (2) reduce the effort and time required to meet regulatory reporting requirements for clinicians, hospitals, and health care organizations; and (3) improve the functionality and ease of use of EHRs.

President releases FY 2021 Budget Request
Released 2/10/20
Requests $6.232 billion in discretionary funding for IHS in FY 2021, an increase of roughly $190 million above the FY 2020 enacted discretionary budget of $6.04 billion. Includes requests to elevate the IHS Director to Assistant Secretary of Indian Health; extension of Medicare tele-health services for IHS/tribal; an indefinite appropriation for ISDEAA section 105(l) leases; and $125 million for the newly established electronic health record system (EHR) line item. Concerning requests include waiver of Indian  preference  to address the chronic health professional shortage;  $134 million proposed reduction to Health Care Facilities Construction; and combining funding for Community Health Representatives ($62.8M in FY 2020), Health Education ($20.56M in FY 2020), and nationalization of the Community Health Aide Program ($5M in FY 2020) into a new "Community Health" line item funded at $44.1M overall ( $44M  reduction  to all three programs).

CMS Healthy Adult Opportunity Initiative
Issued 1/30/20 
Invites states to submit section 1115 waivers to CMS that would impose caps on Medicaid spending in exchange for increased Medicaid program flexibility on the Medicaid expansion population. Rather than receiving reimbursement from CMS for each claim, a state would instead receive a lump-sum payment that is capped either based on a level set for the state's overall Medicaid expenditures or on a level established per Medicaid beneficiary. As a condition of approval CMS highlights inclusion of AI/AN protections and does not count 100% FMAP for services received through an IHS/Tribal facility towards a state's aggregated or per-capita cap funding.
CMS Fact Sheet

All Other Pending Indian Health Policies
H.Res.872 - Recognizing the vital importance of Native American participation in the 2020 decennial census of population
Introduced 2/27/2020
Resolves that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that (1) ensuring an accurate count of AI/ANs is vital for the essence and purpose of the 2020 decennial census of population; (2) an undercount of AI/ANs could result in significant underrepresentation and underfunding for AI/ANs and households; and the Federal government, State, and local governments, and Tribal Nations should work together as partners to encourage participation in the 2020 decennial census of population among AI/AN nations, and to inform the public that the 2020 decennial census of population is safe, easy, and important.   

Other Pending Indian Health Bills
2/28 House votes to ban flavors in cigarettes and e-cigarettes 

2/21 Choice grows in ACA exchanges, report finds, as Supreme Court mulls effort to kill law

2/18 Indian Health Service CIO gets ready to update one of government's oldest systems

2/14 Trump admin's Medicaid work requirements struck down by appeals court

2/12 Idaho votes to take first official action on missing, murdered indigenous people crisis

2/7 Two bills look to address suicide and addiction issues

2/6 Governors warn Trump rule could lead to big Medicaid cuts

2/4 Native veterans legislation gaining steam on Capitol Hill
For more information
  Laura Platero, Executive Director
Sarah Sullivan, Health Policy Analyst
(503) 228-4185