NPAIHB Legislative & Policy Update
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
All meetings virtual

Apr 7, 2021
Veterans Affairs Joint Listening Session on Tribal Consultation Policy
7 - 8:30 a.m.
Conference # 2052718, Passcode 1628337

Apr 08, 2021
NPAIHB Tribal Caucus re Alzheimer's and HIV/HCV Funding
2 - 3:30 p.m.
Call 253-215-8782, Meeting ID: 946 2402 9245 Passcode: 316449
Apr 13, 2021
IHS Tribal Consultation re $5m Alzheimer's Funding
10 - 11:30 a.m.
ADOBE CONNECT MEETING, Room passcode ihs123
Call 877-801-1365, Participant Code: 6488559
Apr 15, 2021
IHS Tribal Consultation re $5m HIV/HCV Funding
10 - 11:30 a.m.
ADOBE CONNECT MEETING, Room passcode ihs123
Call 877-801-1365, Participant Code 6488559
Indian Health Service Dear Tribal Leader Letter re HIV/HCV and Alzheimer's Funding 
issued on Mar 31, 2021. For FY 2021 there is $5m in funding for HIV/HCV and $5m in funding for Alzheimer's. Funds must be used by Sep 30, 2021.
  • Listening session Apr 07, 2021 from 10 a.m. - 11a.m.
  • NPAIHB Tribal Caucus Apr 08, 2021 from 2 - 3:30 p.m.
  • Consultation re Alzheimer's Funding Apr 13, 2021 from 10 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Consultation re HIV/HCV Funding Apr 15, 2021 from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • ALL links and phone numbers listed above.
Indian Health Service Dear Tribal Leader Letter re $95m in Telehealth Funding issued on Mar 26, 2021.  These funds were a part of the CARES Act funding in Mar 2020, and were the subject of tribal consultation in Apr 2020. Funds were allocated as follows:
  • $67 million for telehealth to I/T facilities
    • Using existing distribution formulas with program increases to:
      • Hospitals and Health Clinics
      • Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Mental Health
  • $24 million retained by IHS for:
    • Support of nationwide outreach
    • Education, training, and technical assistance
    • Acquisition of a clinical video telehealth solution
    • Contract management; and other activities
  • $4 million for UIOs
Please note that contract support costs may be added to this funding, which should be negotiated by tribes after payments are made. Funds will be available through Sep 30, 2021.
Veterans Affairs (VA) Consultation on Co-Pays for American Indian/Alaska Native Veterans. The VA issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter on Mar 29, 2021, calling for consultation on recent legislation that prohibits the VA from collecting co-pays from covered AI/AN veterans.
President Biden's American Jobs Plan is creating a lot of synergy in Indian Country as tribal leaders across the nations collaborate to propose comprehensive improvements across all sectors of government that impact the tribes. Specifically related to health services, the NPAIHB is collaborating with the NIHB and NCAI to draft a joint proposal that addresses areas of chronic underfunding, including the following minimum funding proposals:
  • $5 billion for Health Care Facilities Construction
  • $3 billion for IHS Health Information Technology Services
  • $2.9 billion for Water/Sanitation Systems
  • $750 million for maintenance and improvement of Indian Health Service and Tribal facilities
  • Inclusion of the Portland Area Regional Specialty Referral Centers in any infrastructure package.
Legislative Tracker: An on-going list of legislation introduced in the 117th Congress.
Indian Health Service Letter re Health Information Technology was issued on Apr 01, 2021. Over 300 tribes submitted comments on the proposed Health Information Technology (HIT) modernization project, and the agency received comments from over 300 tribes and tribal organizations. They received no objections to the full replacement of RPMS. Key points in the letter include:
  • Overview of current modernization project activities in setting up the Project Management Office
  • Collaboration with other federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Governance for HIT modernization 
  • Notice that a Request for Information (RFI) was distributed on March 17th to Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors
Based on discussions in last week's IHS-Information Services Advisory Committee meeting, there will be a series (three) of tribal summits to discuss all elements the EHR improvement process, and future plans for modernization.
The Biden-Harris Administration Released Drug Policy Priorities on Apr 01, 2021. The American Rescue Plan included almost $4 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand behavioral health services. Priorities include:
  • Expanding access to evidence-based treatment
  • Advancing racial equity in drug policy
  • Enhancing evidence-based harm reduction efforts
  • Supporting evidence-based prevention efforts to reduce youth substance use
  • Reducing the supply of illicit substances
  • Advancing recovery-ready workplaces and expanding the addiction workforce
  • Expanding access to recovery support services
NPAIHB Regulations and DTLL Tracker. An on-going list of federal agency actions and Dear Tribal Leader Letters.
For more information
 Laura Platero, Executive Director
Veronica Smith, Health Policy Consultant | Lisa L. Griggs, Executive and Program Ops Assistant | Candice Jimenez, Health Policy Specialist | Liz Coronado, Health Policy Specialist