I hosted a webinar yesterday and provided an update on the IHS Budget. The main portion of the webinar was spent reviewing the President’s Budget Proposal for the Indian Health Service for next year’s budget (FY2012). Here are the slides from the budget webinar [PPT - 110KB].
I met with a delegation from the Pueblo of Jemez on April 20, 2010. I congratulated them on their decision to transition to Self Governance of their healthcare programs and to their leadership in developing innovative strategies to improve the health of their community. Here’s a picture from our meeting.
Great news – the IHS Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) is now a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR)! This is an important first step for our I/T/U sites that use RPMS to register, qualify and receive the new EHR Incentive Payments from Medicare and/or Medicaid. I have heard that many sites and Tribes are unclear about what they need to do to ensure that their eligible hospitals and eligible providers qualify and receive the EHR Incentive Payments available for the first time this year. We have developed some materials to explain the EHR Incentive Programs for both Medicare and Medicaid and how adopting, implementing, upgrading, and/or demonstrating meaningful use of a certified EHR can qualify for incentive payments. It is important to know that all eligible hospitals and eligible professionals must register as a first step. Please refer to the press release [PDF - 126KB], EHR fact sheet [PDF - 131KB], and EHR overview [PDF - 764KB], and the websites listed at the end of the PowerPoint slides for more information. There is also a webinar [PDF - 158KB] next week on the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
I sent a letter to Tribes in February updating them on the work we are doing to improve the Contract Health Services program which pays for referrals for care in the private sector. The Director’s Workgroup on Improving the Contract Health Services Program developed several recommendations and work is proceeding on them. Listening sessions are being held in each IHS Area to review the recommendations. Here is a copy of the letter sent to Tribes [PDF - 60K] with the update.
I attended the HHS Tribal Budget Formulation and Consultation Session on March 3-4, 2011 which was well attended by Tribal leaders who gave input on the IHS and the HHS budget. Here are some pictures from the session.
I attended the second meeting of the Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee on March 2, 2011. Secretary Sebelius is the first Cabinet Secretary to have this type of advisory committee. Here’s a picture from the meeting.
I sent a letter to Tribes in March to initiate consultation on our amendment to the DOI-IHS Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act reauthorization required our existing MOA to be updated. Tribes are asked to submit priorities for implementation of the MOA by May 30, 2011. Here’s a copy of the letter to Tribes [PDF - 725K].
I met with several Tribes and Tribal organizations in March. Most meetings included a discussion of the budget concerns, health facilities issues, contract health services and specific funding requests. I am also holding Area Listening Sessions this Spring, mostly by phone or videoconference due to limitations on travel on the Continuing Resolution. Here are some pictures from these meetings:
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
IHS California Listening Session
IHS Aberdeen Area Listening Session
Pala Band of Mission Indians
Northwest Portland Indian Health Board
California Rural Indian Health Board
Reno Sparks Indian Colony and Washoe Tribe
Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes
The first learning session for the new phase of the Improving Patient Care initiative – our patient-centered medical home initiative – was held in February in Tucson AZ. I sent a video greeting to welcome the new and continuing sites to this new phase of the initiative, explained how we have worked to improve and clarify the IPC, reassured them that they have my 100% support, and asked the sites to show that this important initiative can be successful in all Indian health sites and build our internal capacity to make this our own unique IHS initiative. The IPC3 is a key component of our agency priority to improve the quality of and access to care in the IHS. Here are some pictures from the meeting: