September 4, 2020 |  Issue 20-30 Missed Last Week's Washington Report? Click Here to Visit our Archives!

Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) TAG Vacancies
 In February 2018, with the announcement of CHAP expansion to Tribes beyond Alaska, IHS created a CHAP Tribal Advisory Group.

 Information on CHAP and CHAP TAG, including vacant positions, is available on the CHAP

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PRFHHS Extends Application Deadline for Provider Relief Fund until September 13
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the deadline to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution Funding to September 13, 2020. The Provider Relief Fund supports healthcare providers in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPCHE), the federal government has allocated $175 billion in payments to be distributed through the Provider Relief Fund (PRF)

Applications are currently open for Phase 2 General Distribution funding for Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), dental providers, certain Medicare providers, and assisted living facilities. All groups have until September 13, 2020 to submit their TIN for validation and apply for funding from Phase 2 General Distribution. 

Qualified providers of health care, services, and support may receive Provider Relief Fund payments for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue due to COVID-19. Separately, the COVID-19 Uninsured Program reimburses providers for testing and treating uninsured individuals with COVID-19. These distributions do not need to be repaid to the US government, assuming providers comply with the terms and conditions. Click here to read FAQs provided by HHS regarding access to the Provider Relief Fund. 
For questions about Phase 2 General Distribution of the Provider Relief Fund, please contact Carolyn Hornbuckle at 
In This Issue:

InsightsWebinarInsights from Congressional and Tribal Leaders: Coronavirus Relief for American Indian Tribal Government, Wednesday, September 9
On Wednesday September 9, the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development will host a panel of Tribal and congressional leaders to discuss Tribal legislative priorities in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in Indian Country. The discussion will focus on a broad range of issues including Tribal access to pandemic relief funds, and continued priorities around economic recovery adn response efforts in Indian Country.

  • The Honorable Steve Daines, US Senator for Montana
  • The Honorable Sharice Davids, US Representative, Kansas
  • President Shelley Buck, Prairie Island Indian Community
  • Governor Stephen Roe Lewis, Gila River Indian Community
  • Chairman Alvin "A.J." Not Afraid, Jr., Crow Tribe of Indians
  • Professor Joseph P. Kalt, Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
4:00 PM Eastern Time
VirtualMeetingA Virtual Meeting of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education
On August 24, CMS released a notice announcing an upcoming meeting of the Advisory Panel for Outreach and Education. This panel is designed to assist the secretary of HHS and the administrator of CMS with ways to enhance consumer education strategies for the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare, and CHIP. The meeting is scheduled for September 23, 2020. 

The deadline to register for this meeting is September 9, at 5:00pm ET.
OverpaymentInformation Collection Request from CMS on Medicare Payments to Recover Medicaid Overpayments and Supporting Regulations
On August 26, CMS released a comment request notice on their extension of "Withholding Medicare Payments to Recover Medicaid Overpayments and Supporting Regulations". This request is intended to inform certain Medicaid providers who are eligible for offsets for the collection of Medicaid overpayments, that they must reduce their participation in Medicaid. In turn, the state agency must provide their respective CMS regional office with certain documentation that identifies the provider and the Medicaid overpayment amount. 

The comment deadline has been extended to September 25, 2020.
SelfReferralCMS Extension of Timeline for Publication of the Medicare Program; Modernizing and Clarifying the Physician Self-Referral Regulations Final Rule
On August 27, CMS released an extension of timeline for publication of a final rule titled "Medicare Program; Modernizing and Clarifying the Physician Self-Referral Regulations." This final rule details exceptions to the physician self-referral law for certain value-based compensation arrangements for physicians, providers and suppliers. This proposed rule also serves as guidance for physicians and others who are eligible with financial criteria related to the physician self-referral statue and regulations. 

This finalization is now scheduled for August 31, 2021, extending from October 17, 2019.
CommissionMeetingAnnouncement from HHS on the Meeting of the National Clinical Care Commission
On August 28, HHS released a notice on their eighth meeting of the National Clinical Care Commission. This commission is intended to inform specific federal agencies and non-federal entities on recommendations to the HHS secretary and congress on leveraging and improving the coordination of federal programs related to diabetes and its complications. Topics at the meeting will include updates from the commissions' three subcommittees including action plans for the future. 

The meeting will be held virtually on September 11, 2020.
USDAMeasuresUSDA Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities in the Wake of COVID-19
On August 28, the USDA published an announcement titled, "USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19" from the USDA Rural Development. This announcement is intended to help individuals in rural America effected by the COVID-19 outbreak and includes updates to the Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Many of these measures involve the extension of funding deadlines, guidance on new programs, and guidance on specific policies in relation to these three different services.
OpioidGrantsHHS and SAMHSA Release $1.5 Billion to both States and Tribes for the Opioid Crisis 
On August 27, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) had started distributing $1.5 billion to states and Tribes in order to combat the Opioid crisis. The Tribal funds will be released as a part of the Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) grant program, a two-year effort by the agency to help Tribes provide community-level resources for people in need of prevention, treatment and recovery support services. When HHS announced the funding opportunity earlier this year, they anticipated that $50,000,000 in total funding would be made available to Tribes. 
OutpatientDrugCMS has released the New Federal Upper Limits for the Medicaid Covered Outpatient Drug Final Rule
On September 1, CMS released the updated Affordable Care Act Federal Upper Limits (FUL) calculations in accordance with the Medicaid Covered Outpatient Drug final rule. These FULs are based on the most recently reported monthly average manufacturer prices of pharmaceutically and therapeutically equivalent multiple source drug productions. The FUL is to be no less than 175 percent of the weighted average of these prices. States will have 30 days after September 1 to implement these FULs. The updated calculations can be found here.
NTHCRegister Now for NIHB's National Tribal Health Conference
In response to COVID-19, and in respect to the health of our communities, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) decided to host its annual National Tribal Health Conference on a virtual platform.
NIHB is committed to providing the same world-class information to support Tribal health systems and opportunities for attendees to network with colleagues from across Indian Country. Tribal consultation and listening consultation sessions with our government partners, hosted by NIHB, will remain free and open to the public during specific, designated times.
NIHB believes this year's virtual conference brings a real opportunity to add new stakeholders to the conversation, especially those who may not have been able to join us in previous years due to travel costs or scheduling conflicts. NIHB is excited to have you join this year's virtual National Tribal Health Conference!

Call for Abstracts - Due September 9! Learn more.
Register for the Conference! Early Bird Rate through September 18!
ServiceAwards2020 National Indian Health Board Outstanding Service Awards
Nominations for the National Indian Health Board 2020 Outstanding Service Awards: Recognizing Resiliency in Indian Country are now open! 

Nominate a hero in Indian Health between now and September 8, 2020 to recognize their work at the Local, Regional, and National Levels!

EldercareWebinarNIHB Webinar: Eldercare in the Time of COVID-19, Wednesday, September 9
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is hosting a webinar on eldercare during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the risk for severe illness from coronavirus infection increase with age. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older. This webinar will present ways we can help to prevent illness, and care for our elders during these unprecedented times. 

Join us to hear presenters will discuss topics ranging from caring for elders during the pandemic, preventing infection among this vulnerable population and tips for caregivers. Learn more about helping and protecting elders in your community.
**Submit questions in advance to Courtney Wheeler at

Wednesday, September 9, 2020
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern Time
Register for the Webinar
TelehealthWebiarTelehealth - Understanding our use of Telehealth in the IHS Electronic Health Record, Friday, September 11
In this webinar, the Indian Health Service (IHS) will discuss the need to capture information on the amount and type of telehealth services being provided across the system. It will discuss the importance of this data and provide recommendations for documenting telehealth visits. This will ensure that critical information is available for planning and improvement across the system. Time will be allotted for questions and answers. The webinar is intended for Leaders, directors, healthcare providers, billers, Informaticists, Health Information Management Consultant and Health Information Technology staff in IHS facilities. No credit offered for this webinar.

For questions & technical assistance, contact

Friday, September 11, 2020
12:00 pm Eastern Time
HRSATACSolicitation of Nominations for Membership To Serve on Tribal Advisory Council
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking additional nominations of qualified Tribal officials as candidates for consideration for appointment as voluntary delegate members of the HRSA Tribal Advisory Council (TAC), which is being established. Specifically, HRSA requests submissions of nominations of qualified Tribal officials from the Indian Health Service (IHS) geographic areas of: Alaska; Albuquerque; Billings; Navajo; Phoenix; and Tucson. 

Nominations for membership must be received on or before September 30, 2020. Read more here.
OpioidMisuseFunding Opportunity: Building Tribal Provider and Patient Capacity for Addressing Opioid Misuse Prevention and Treatment
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is pleased to announce Building Tribal Provider and Patient Capacity for Addressing Opioid Misuse Prevention and Treatment made possible through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The funding will provide an opportunity to increase the level of programming, research, policy development, coordination, and/or communication between Tribal programs, leadership, community, and key partners involved in addressing the health consequences of the opioid epidemic. 

Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until filled. Opportunity closes September 14, 2020.
Read more. 
COVIDResourcesCall for Tribal COVID-19 Resources
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is seeking to create a pool of resources which Tribes can access when planning or implementing their own COVID-19 response. To this end, NIHB is asking Tribes to share with us any tools, operational plans, guides, policies, communication products, etc. that has helped your Tribe combat this pandemic. The materials can be de-identified, if needed. These resources will be placed online within NIHB's COVID-19 Tribal Response Center alongside other community health materials. We hope this aids Tribes to build on successes and support each other in the collective effort to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on Indian Country.

To submit any materials or resources, please email Courtney Wheeler ( If you have any questions, please contact Courtney Wheeler.

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