NPAIHB Legislative & Policy Update
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
May 4, 2021
House Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing
Negotiating a Better Deal: Legislation to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs
8:30 a.m. Pacific
May 5, 2021 
Lower Drug Costs Now: Expanding Access to Affordable Health Care
9:00 a.m. Pacific 
May 5 - 6, 2021 
Health & Human Services Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee (HHS-STAC) 
May 6, 2021 
Broadband Equity: Addressing Disparities in Access and Affordability 
8:30 a.m. Pacific

May 10, 2021 
MMPC Monthly Meeting
11:00 a.m. Pacific
May 12, 2021  
TTAG Monthly Meeting
11:30 a.m. Pacific
May 12-13, 2021 
SAMHSA Tribal Advisory Committee 
May 24-27, 2021 
ATNI Mid-Year Convention 
An ongoing list of Dear Tribal Leader Letters, Federal agency actions, and legislation introduced in the 117th Congress related to health. 
HHS announced proposed modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) on Dec 10, 2020. These changes are intended to support care coordination and value-based health care Written comments are due May 6, 2021.  
HHS Annual Tribal Budget Consultation was held virtually on April 6-7, 2021.  Written testimony is due May 7, 2021 via email to NPAIHB will be submitting written testimony.     
IHS Tribal Consultation. IHS announced initiation of Tribal Consultation on Tuesday, June 8th at 10:00 PST to seek input and recommendations to improve the IHS Tribal Consultation Policy.  Additionally, IHS is seeking nominations of two Tribal Leaders from each Area to serve on the IHS Director's Advisory Workgroup on Tribal Consultation.  Nominations are due to the IHS Area Director by Jun 15, 2021.   
 IHS Portland Area Office issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter on April 14, 2021 to seek input on critical components of the Portland Area Community Health Aide Program Certification Board.  Written comments are due May 14, 2021.  
Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian AffairsThe VA posted notice of the establishment of the Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs (Committee).  The Committee will be composed of 15 Members including at least one member from each of the 12 IHS service areas.   Nomination packages are due Jun 1, 2021 no later than 2pm Pacific. 
S.914 Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021(DWWIA). Passed and agreed to in Senate on April 29, 2021 by a vote of 89-2. This legislation amends the Safe Drinking Water Act and Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reauthorize programs under those Acts, and for other purposes. As for next steps, the bill will be sent to the House of Representatives, where other lawmakers and committees have pitched their own water infrastructure proposals this year without advancement. 

S.1365 Extending Tribal Broadband Priority Act of 2021. Introduced on April 26, 2021 by Sen. Warren (D-MA) and referred to Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. This legislation would expand the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC's) 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window. Originally introduced last year with then-Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), this bill will allow tribal nations and Native Hawaiian organizations the time they need to apply for spectrum licenses for unassigned spectrum over their own lands - a critical step to expanding broadband access in their communities. 

S.1397 Tribal Health Data Improvement Act. Introduced on April 27, 2021 by Sen. Smith (D-MN) and referred to Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. This legislation would strengthen data sharing between Tribes, Tribal Epidemiology Centers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This bill clarifies that Tribes and Tribal Epidemiology Centers, as public health authorities, should be granted access to the data they request.  This legislation would strengthen data sharing between Tribes, Tribal Epidemiology Centers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This bill clarifies that Tribes and Tribal Epidemiology Centers, as public health authorities, should be granted access to the data they request. 
HHS Releases New Buprenorphine Practice Guidelines Expanding Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. 
In an effort to get evidenced-based treatment to more Americans with opioid use disorder, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new buprenorphine practice guidelines that among other things, remove a longtime requirement tied to training, which some practitioners have cited as a barrier to treating more people.
  • The new guidelines allow the provider to treat up to 30 patients without the 8 hours (MD/DO) or 24 (NP/PA) certification requirements related to training, counseling and other ancillary services. 
  • All providers, even those who aren't trained, will still need to fill out the Buprenorphine Waiver
  • Learn more via the SAMHSA Press Release 
CMS adopts new rules to lower health care costs in 2022 Federal Health Insurance Marketplace Plans.  The new rules (also known as the "2022 payment notice") lowers maximum out of pocket costs to consumers by $400.  Unpublished rule available here. 
FEMA Funeral Assistance for COVID-19FEMA issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter concluding that it cannot reimburse Tribal Nations for costs incurred by tribal members or by the tribe for funeral-related expenses.  It determined that reimbursing funeral-related expenses to Tribal Nations is not available under the Individual Assistance or Public Assistance Programs.   
Update on the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) CARES Act Infrastructure Grant. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed on March 27, 2020, provided FDPIR with $50,000,000 in additional and equitable funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic with facility improvements and equipment upgrades. 
  • FDPIR CARES Act Food Package - Forty tribes are approved to distribute the CARES Act food package. The package provides up to an additional 21 units of USDA Foods per person, per month to eligible households. 
  • Ninety-five (95) programs received grants and will use the funds to help prevent coronavirus transmission through purchases, such as personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and sanitizing stations. 
Indian Health Service (IHS) announces funding allocation of CHAP appropriationsIn a Dear Tribal Leader Letter, IHS announced funding allocation of $10 million for national CHAP expansion from FY 2020 and 2021 appropriations.  
  • $3 million in grants for Tribes and Tribal Organizations positioned to begin operating a CHAP.  IHS is awarding 3 grants of $1 million each for a period of 2 years. 
  • $4.7 million in grants for Tribes and Tribal Organizations to assist with planning efforts and assessing the applicability of CHAP. 
  • $1.7 million to IHS Headquarters to support national CHAP infrastructure, including the National Certification Board, National Standards and Procedures, and ongoing technical assistance. 
  • $640,000 for IHS Area Offices. 
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