October 23, 2020 |  Issue 20-35 Missed Last Week's Washington Report? Click Here to Visit our Archives!
UPCOMING EVENTS
  

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
website.

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Top Story
TrumpTrump Administration Releases "Putting America's First Peoples First" Plan
On October 20, 2020, President Donald Trump released a statement outlining his "Putting America's Peoples First" policy to honor the heritage of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and partnering with Indian Country. Outlined in the three-page proposal includes several points centered around health care improvement for Indian Country. Some key specific goals of the vision include, but is not limited to: 
  • Improve care delivery and coordination throughout IHS
  • Eliminate long-standing healthcare disparities in order to increase quality of life and life expectancy for Native Americans.
  • Invest in the Special Diabetes Programs for Indians and other prevention and treatment programs to reduce incidence and improve outcomes of diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, maternal mortality, and more.
  • Prioritize and invest in mental and behavioral health, including suicide prevention, addiction, and substance use disorder treatment programs.
  • Support language access programs for patients in all care settings.
  • Advance health information technology to benefit patients and clinicians.
  • Increase broadband access for robust telehealth and wellbeing activities. 
  • Support funding for better water infrastructure in Tribal communities. 
The statement also includes principles to invest in Tribal Colleges and Universities, promote Tribal economic self-determination, and promoting safer communities in partnership with Tribal law enforcement agencies. The plan provided by the White House does not give a timeline for implementation. 

The National Indian Health Board will monitor the progress of the plan from the Trump Administration, which will be determined by the results of the election on November 3, 2020.
In This Issue:

TOP STORY
FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION AND STATE GOVERNMENT UPDATES 
CAPITOL HILL UPDATES
CommentsDrugTop Republicans Call for Input to Improve the 340B Drug Pricing Program
On Friday, October 9, House Energy & Commerce Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) called for stakeholders to submit input for improvements to he 340B Drug Pricing Program. 
Said Walden and Lamar,"While we hear reports of the program benefiting low-income patients, there remains significant confusion about the program's requirements and lack of data necessary for effective oversight to maintain the integrity of the program." Recently, the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) held a listening session with Tribal leader regarding recent action taken by pharmaceutical manufacturers to limit access of covered entities to 340B drugs. 

Ranking Member Walden and Chairman Alexander are asking for comments and recommendations to be submitted by October 30th to the following email addresses: 340B@help.senate.gov and 340B@mail.house.gov
FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION AND STATE GOVERNMENT UPDATES
CMS changes the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program and Medicare Cost Plan ProgramMedicareDrugBenefit
On October 13, CMS released a correction to a final rule titled, "Medicare Program; Contract Year 2021 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, and Medicare Cost Plan Program." CMS changed a disclaimer for dual eligible special needs plans, a paperwork Reduction Act package was omitted, as well as several Office of Management and Budget control numbers from the rule's Table 3. Similarly, several changes were made to Table 6 as well as other minor grammatical errors to Table 11. These changes became effective on October 13, 2020.
IHS Loan Repayment Program for Health Professional Education Loans
On October 13, IHS released an initial notice of their Loan Repayment Program for Repayment of Health Professions Educational Loans. The program allotment is $34,800,000. Criteria for individuals to apply include the completion of a fulltime clinical service, be an enrolled member of a Tribe, have a degree in a health profession and license to practice in a state, be eligible for selection for service in the Regular Corps of the Public Health Service and be employed in an Indian health program without service obligation. The loan can be used for both undergraduate and graduate levels. Overall there will be approximately 1,114 awards for the loan program and individuals selected will need to begin their service period no later than September 30, 2021. February 15, 2021 is the first award cycle deadline.Repayment
Comment Request from HHS on Applications for the Regular Corps of the Commissioned CorpsCommissionedCorps
On October 14, HHS released a notice of revision of an information collection request. This request details the collection of information needed from individuals to allow HHS to determine the eligibility for applicants to the Regular Corps and Ready Reserve Corps of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service Corps through the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service Application. Information on the necessity and utility of the proposed information, ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of information can all be included when responding to the request. Comments on the application are due November 13, 2020.
The Redesignation of the Purchased Referred Care Delivery Area for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Mille Lacs Band of OjibweMinnesotaChippewa
On October 14, IHS released a notice of Purchased and Referred Care Delivery Area (PRCDA) redesignation for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Through this notice, the geographical boundaries of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe will be extended to include the counties of Crow Wing and Morrison in the State of Minnesota. Currently, the PRCDA for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe includes Aitkin, Kanebec, Mille Lacs and Pine counties. Members residing outside of the PRCDA qualify for direct care service, but they do not qualify for the Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) Services. Comments on this expansion must be submitted on November 13, 2020.
Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program for a Smallpox Injury TableInjuryComp
On October 15, HHS published a notice of proposed rulemaking detailing the possible addition of a Smallpox Countermeasures Injury Table. This table would include a list of countermeasures and proposed time intervals for the first symptom of onset injury. This table will also specify the qualifications and aids to interpretation, which will define the requirements necessary to establish the table injuries. This program and table are intended to provide timely, uniform and adequate compensation to certain individuals who have developed serious physical injuries or who are family members of those who have died as a result of the Smallpox countermeasure. Comments are due December 14, 2020.
Collection Request from CMS on the National Plan and Provider Enumeration SystemNPPES
On October 16, CMS released a notice on a comment request for their National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) Supplemental Data Collection. This system will be adopted to be used as a standard unique health identifier for health care providers. The NPPES will also be applicable to health care providers that are covered entities under HIPAA and those providers must apply for and use National Provider Identifiers in standard transactions. Comments are due December 15, 2020.
IHS Community Opioid Intervention Pilot ProjectsPilotProject
On October 16, IHS released an announcement on their "Community Opioid Intervention Pilot Projects." These projects are grants that intend to help address the opioid epidemic by supporting the development, documentation, and the sharing of locally designed and culturally appropriate prevention. For FY 2020, the IHS was awarded $10 million for these projects. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2020.
IHS's Urban Indian Education and Research ProgramUrbanEd
On October 16, IHS published an announcement on the "Urban Indian Education and Research Program." This program is intended to make health care services more accessible to Urban Indians. Specifically this program will fund an organization to provide COVID-19 education and service in five project areas. These areas include, public policy, research and data, training and technical assistance, education/public relations/marketing and payment system reform/monitoring regulations to act as COVID-19 public health support partners. The application for this program is due November 6, 2020.
IHS Dear Tribal Leader Letter on the Small Ambulatory ProgramDTLL
On October 14, IHS released a Dear Tribal Leader Letter on the solicitation for the FY 2020 Small Ambulatory Program (SAP). Through this program individuals who are operating an Indian health care facility under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act may be eligible for funding for the construction and expansion of their small ambulatory health care facilities. This program's budget includes a total of $25 million. The deadline to submit a SAP application is February 1, 2021. To apply and for more information on the program, please follow this link.
Data Collection site for Rural Health ClinicsRuralData
On October 16, the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (RHC) released an announcement on their launch of a data collection site for rural health clinics to collect data on COVID-19 testing. All clinics that received funding from the RHC COVID-10 Testing Program are required to report through this portal per the terms and conditions of the program. The specific data rural health clinics need to collect include the Tax Identification Number of the organization received the funding, the number of tests and positive results by month, and the addresses of the COVID-19 testing locations.
GRANTS & RESOURCES
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 (cwheeler@nihb.org). If you have any questions, please contact Courtney Wheeler.
910 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone: 202-507-4070
Fax: 202-507-4071
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