March 5, 2020 |  Issue 20-7  Missed Last Week's Washington Report? Click Here to Visit our Archives!
 UPCOMING EVENTS 

Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee Meeting
March 11-12, 2020
Washington, DC


March 17 - 19, 2020
Omaha, Nebraska
 
Register for the Summit HERE

April 8-9, 2020
Washington, DC

April 27-May 1, 2020
Mahnomen, MN

May 4-5, 2020
Richmond, VA

May 11-15, 2020
Location TBD


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 .

Join the National Partnership for Dental Therapy!
Click HERE for more information!

Stay Current: Health Alerts from the CDC!
Don't wait for the emergency to arrive before signing up for emergency alerts from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention!

 
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@NIHB1
 
Top Story
CoronavirusFund
Congress Passes $8.3 Billion Coronavirus Emergency Funding
Earlier today, the U.S. Senate cleared an $8.3 billion package aimed at tackling the recent spread of COVID-19 ("coronavirus") in the United States, after the House of Representatives passed the supplemental funding package on Wednesday, March 4. The package, under  H.R.6074,  provides billions of dollars to spearhead medical research and vaccine development, provide relief to local businesses impacted by the coronavirus, and bolster preparedness and response efforts for state, local, Tribal, and urban Indian health entities. Roughly $3 billion is allocated to the National Institutes of Health for research into vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other measures. In addition, $1 billion is allocated for purchasing of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and another $264 million is to bolster operations at the U.S. Department of State. For a summary of the bill,  click here .

Funding for Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations
In addition to the funding items outlined above, the bill includes $950 million in grants and cooperatives agreements to be administered through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for state and local governments, Tribal governments, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations for public health preparedness and response activities including epidemiology, lab capacity, infection control, communications, and other efforts. Thanks to continued advocacy across Indian Country, of the $950 million total,  $40 million is set aside specifically for Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations .

In addition, the package includes language authorizing use of bill funds to reimburse federal agencies such as Indian Health Service, and also Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations that may have assumed costs related to coronavirus response and mitigation prior to enactment of the supplemental funding package.

In his remarks on the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) specifically brought attention to concerns around lack of available resources to address coronavirus cases and potential outbreaks in Indian Country, stating that:  "Yesterday, we heard from the National Indian Health Board that Indian Health Service and Tribal health facilities are largely being left behind in the coronavirus response and have received few, if any, resources. This is unacceptable."

NIHB will continue to monitor the legislation and the health risks currently affecting Indian Country amid the coronavirus spread and will share timely updates as they become available.
CAPITOL HILL UPDATES
SenateLetterBipartisan Group of Senators Urge Vice President Pence to Ensure Coronavirus Resources for Tribes and Urban Native Communities
On March 5, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led a bipartisan group of 27 senators in writing to Vice President Pence request the administration to meaningfully engage with Native communities and Tribal leaders on their response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In their letter to the Vice President, the senators wrote, " The U.S. government has specific trust and treaty responsibilities to provide American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) with comprehensive quality healthcare. While the IHS serves as the primary agency charged with provision of AI/AN healthcare, all federal healthcare-related programs and initiatives - including the COVID-19 response - share equally in the requirement to fulfill these trust and treaty obligations," the senators continued.

FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION AND STATE GOVERNMENT UPDATES
  SupremeCourt
Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Individual Mandate Ruling
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of the 5th Circuit's December 18th ruling in Texas v. United States regarding the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The Circuit Court found that the individual mandate was unconstitutional but remanded to the trial court the question of whether or not the mandate could be separated from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In January, attorneys general from 20 states and the District of Columbia sought to have the case fast-tracked but were unsuccessful in their efforts. It is likely that the case will be heard during the Court's new term, which starts in October, and decided by summer 2021.
 
This case is important for Tribes because the ACA permanently reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). If the Court decides that the entirety of the ACA is unconstitutional, then it could also invalidate IHCIA. NIHB is monitoring this situation and will provide updates as we learn them.

grantguidance
Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Individual Mandate Ruling
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of the 5th Circuit's December 18th ruling in Texas v. United States regarding the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The Circuit Court found that the individual mandate was unconstitutional but remanded to the trial court the question of whether or not the mandate could be separated from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In January, attorneys general from 20 states and the District of Columbia sought to have the case fast-tracked but were unsuccessful in their efforts. It is likely that the case will be heard during the Court's new term, which starts in October, and decided by summer 2021. 

This case is important for Tribes because the ACA permanently reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). If the Court decides that the entirety of the ACA is unconstitutional, then it could also invalidate IHCIA. NIHB is monitoring this situation and will provide updates as we learn them.
The Administration on Aging (AOA) and Administration for Community Living (ACL) just released a Title VI (Older Americans Act) Transportation Quick Guide. The Guide contains resources on Part A/B funding that can be used for transportation services and related expenses. To view the Guide, click here

BHLetterIHS Dear Tribal Leader Letter: Decision on Funding Mechanism to Distribute IHS Behavioral Health Grants

On March 2, 2020, the Principal Deputy Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS), RADM Michael Weahkee, issued a Dear Tribal Leader letter to provide Tribes and Tribal Organizations with his decision regarding the funding mechanism to distribute IHS behavioral health funding. The letter states that the IHS would continue to distribute funding for the Substance abuse and Suicide Prevention (SASP) Program, the Domestic Violence Prevention (DVP) Program, and the Zero Suicide Prevention Initiative (ZSI) as grants while using portions of the funding for national management and administrative costs. 

RADM Weahkee initiated Tribal Consultation in May 18th of 2018   , asking Tribes to answer a series of questions about the IHS behavioral health grants. In March 2019, the IHS National Tribal Advisory Committee on Behavioral Health (NTAC) reviewed the comments and developed recommendations for IHS regarding both the program and the distribution method of funds. 
 
IHS initiated the Tribal Consultation in direct response to Congressional language from the Explanatory Statement of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which encouraged IHS to consider transferring its behavioral health initiative funding through Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) contracts and compacts. NIHB has heard from Tribes and Tribal Organizations that transferring the program funds under ISDEAA would allow more Tribes to received funding and ensure that resources are directly support the work of Tribal programs. The letter also mentions that the continued grant mechanism will support efforts "to improve oversight, reporting, and information sharing to external entities including the Office of Management and Budget and Congress."


Resources:
NIHB UPDATES
CornovaSurvey
NIHB Coronavirus Survey
NIHB is asking for Tribes' assistance in assessing the coronavirus prevention and response capacity in Indian Country. We are asking for this information because NIHB has the opportunity to share information on Tribal needs and advocate for resources with both the Congress and Administration.

To ensure that these efforts have the best possible impact, NIHB is gathering key information from as many Tribes as possible to create a comprehensive profile of what is needed. We ask that you please consider the questions at the link below and share any information you can with NIHB. This survey should take about 5-10 minutes to complete. You can access the survey here.
BoardResolutionNIHB Board of Directors Passes Six Resolutions at First Quarterly Board Meeting in Washington, DC

NIHB's Board of Directors convened its first quarterly board meeting of 2020 in Washington, DC  on February 25-26. During official business, the Board of Directors passed six resolutions affirming Tribal voices regarding Indian health policy issues. 
  • Resolution 20-01: Support for a Permanent Reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians to Include Annual Funding Increases tied to Medical Inflation; and Support for an Amendment to the Public Health Service Act to Permit Tribes and Tribal Organizations to Receive Special Diabetes Program for Indian Funds through Self-Determination and Self-Governance Contracts and Compacts
  • Resolution 20-02: Strongly Opposing Any Proposal or Policy to Waive or Erode Indian Preference Laws
  • Resolution 20-03: Federal Support for Tribal HIV Programming
  • Resolution 20-04: Resolution to Call upon the National Institutes of Health to Consult with Tribal Nations and Establish Politics and Guidance for Tribal Oversight of Data on Tribal Citizens Enrolled in the All of Us Research Program
  • Resolution 20-05: Support Direct Funding from CDC to Tribes and Tribal Organizations for Public Health Work in Indian Country
  • Resolution 20-06: Support for Addressing Housing and Homelessness in Indian Country as a Public Health Priority
TPHS
Registration Still Open for National Indian Health Board's 11th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit!
March 17-19, 2020
Chi Health Center, Omaha, NE

The National Indian Health Board invites you to submit a proposalfor the National Tribal Public Health Summit (TPHS). TPHS is a premiere Indian public health event that attracts over 500 Tribal public health professionals, elected leaders, advocates, researchers, and community-based service providers. This year's Summit will feature dynamic national speakers, interactive workshops and roundtable discussions, a welcome reception, a morning fitness event, as well as the presentation of the 2020 Native Public Health Innovation awards.
 
This year's tracks are:
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Public Health Policy, Infrastructure, Workforce and Systems
  • Substance Misuse, Opioids, and Behavioral Health
  • Environmental Health and Climate Change
  • Traditional Public Health Practice
Click here   to register for the Summit by March 8, 2020.
UPCOMING EVENTS, CALLS, AND WEBINARS
CMSSS
CMS ITU  Trainings
Don't miss the National Indian Health Board's (NIHB) presentation at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS), Indian Health Service (IHS), Tribal Health Programs, and Urban Indian Programs (CMS I/T/U) regional training sessions!  CMS is committed to helping the I/T/U facilities to maximize their ability to access third party resources.  To meet this objective, CMS, in partnership with the States, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Social Security Administration, the DHHS Office of the Inspector General, IHS and NIHB provide training to patient benefits advocates on the programs and benefits available through Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Health Insurance Marketplace. 
 
The target audience for CMS ITU Trainings includes:
  • Business Office staff
  • Benefits Coordinators
  • Patient Registration staff
  • Medical Records staff
  • Purchased/Referred Care staff
Upcoming Regional Trainings:
 
CMS ITU Training - Denver, CO
March 18-19, 2020
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Denver Tech Center North
7525 East Hampden Avenue
Denver, CO 80231
 
CMS ITU Training - Galllup, NM (Navajo)
March 24-25. 2020
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Fort Defiance, AZ
 
Click here to register and for more information.

HOW TO USE CMS TRIBAL OUTREACH MATERIALS
Two New Videos - Public Service Announcements (PSA)
 
National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed PSAs to use in Indian Country that depicts the best ways to use the outreach and education materials that CMS has created for Tribal communities.
This video  demonstrates tips for using CMS Tribal outreach materials at an information booth at a health fair or community pow-wow.
This video  demonstrates tips for using CMS Tribal outreach materials in a patient home visit with a community health educator like a Community Health Representative, Public Health Nurse or a Community Health Care Provider.
 
If you have any questions, please email Kristen Bitsuie at kbitsuie@nihb.org .
GRANTS & RESOURCES
HRSAfundingrural
HRSA Funding Opportunity: Rural Health Care Coordination Program
Application Deadline: March 12, 2020

HRSA is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 Rural Health Care Coordination Program. The purpose of this program is to support rural health consortiums aiming to improve access and quality of care through application of care coordination strategies with the focus areas of collaboration, leadership and workforce, improved outcomes, and sustainability in rural communities.

The FY 2020 President's Budget does not request funding for this program. This notice is a contingency action taken to ensure that, should funds become available for this purpose, HRSA can process applications and award funds in a timely manner. You should note that this program may be cancelled prior to award.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable.  

Click here to view the funding opportunities in Grants.gov .
RuralResponse
Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Notice of Funding Opportunity
Application Deadline: April 24, 2020

HRSA recently released the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) notice of funding opportunity (HRSA-20-031). HRSA plans to award approximately 89 grants to rural communities as part of this funding opportunity. Applications are due by Friday, April 24, in Grants.gov.
Successful RCORP-Implementation award recipients will receive $1 million for a three-year period of performance to enhance and expand substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), service delivery in high-risk rural communities. They will implement a set of core SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery activities that align with HHS' Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis.
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