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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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August 2013 blogs

Posted on Aug 22, 2013

IHS is Preparing for Affordable Care Act Implementation

Please see the press release we posted today. A few weeks ago, we held our annual Indian Health Partnerships Conference in Denver, Colorado, to train key health system staff on Affordable Care Act implementation requirements, including the new Health Insurance Marketplace, and the impact on the provision of health care services to American Indian and Alaska Native people.

The Indian Health Partnerships Conference provided an opportunity to encourage both members of tribal communities and health care professionals working with tribal communities to educate others about important new opportunities for coverage. Sessions topics included Affordable Care Act updates, enrollment, referral and billing information, Medicaid updates and an overview of the IHS and Department of Veterans Affairs billing process for federal facilities. Attendees also learned about Medicaid expansion and the specific Affordable Care Act provisions that impact American Indians and Alaska Natives. The presentations are available at the 2013 Partnerships Conference site.

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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Dr. Roubideaux presenting at the 2013 Annual Indian Health Partnerships Conference, Denver, CO


Posted on Aug 22, 2013

The Affordable Care Act and American Indians and Alaska Natives

I get questions all the time from American Indians and Alaska Natives (including my own relatives!) wondering why they should care about the Affordable Care Act since they already are eligible for the Indian Health Service (IHS). My response is that while the IHS is here to stay and will be available as their health care system, the Affordable Care Act brings new options for health coverage. It is another way that the federal government meets its responsibility to provide health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to increase access to quality health coverage for all Americans, including our First Americans. The benefits of the health care law for American Indians and Alaska Natives are significant whether they have insurance now, want to purchase affordable insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace or take advantage of the States expanding Medicaid starting in 2014. Indian elders will benefit from a stronger Medicare with more affordable prescriptions and free preventive services no matter what provider they see. And of course, we're thrilled that the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), our authorizing legislation, was made permanent by the Affordable Care Act.

These new benefits mean potentially more services for individuals and the communities we serve. So we are encouraging every American Indian and Alaska Native to enroll in the Marketplaces starting October 1, 2013 to see what benefits are available to them.

Learn more about how the law is benefiting our community. Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov

To learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace visit HealthCare.gov Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.


Posted on Aug 22, 2013

New Tribal Leader Letters posted on IHS website

I sent two letters to Tribes this month. The first letter [PDF - 21 KB] initiates a consultation on IHS' Community Health Representative training with a request for comments on how to provide this training in an effective but cost-efficient manner given the current budget and travel constraints. Comments are due on October 8, 2013.

The second letter [PDF - 25 KB] provides clarification on the order of payment for emergency services at sites outside of the Indian health system. Since the Affordable Care Act makes IHS the payer of last resort, all other alternative resources, including the VA, must be used before IHS for emergency services provided to veterans outside of the IHS or the VA.


Posted on Aug 9, 2013

10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference

I attended the 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference in Bloomington, MN, in July. This meeting included sessions on priorities identified by the Direct Service Tribes, including contract health services, the Affordable Care Act, behavioral health, facilities construction, long-term care, care for veterans, traditional medicine, the IHS budget, recruitment and retention, and prescription drug abuse. The meeting was also the first time we held a combined in-person and virtual meeting. Here are pictures from the meeting:

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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Indian Health Service Update Session presented by Dr. Roubideaux
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Sandra Ortega, DSTAC Chairwoman
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Affordable Care Act Session
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Contract Health Services Session
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Healthcare Facilities Session
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Budget Formulation Session
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Long Term Care Session
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Prescription Drug Abuse Session
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Traditional Medicine Session
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Care for Veterans Session
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Former IHS Director, Dr. Everett Rhoades receiving Carole Anne Heart Award
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - 10th Annual Direct Service Tribes Conference, Bloomington, MN, July 2013


Posted on Aug 8, 2013

Northern Valley Indian Health Woodland Clinic Site Visit

I visited the Woodland Clinic of Northern Valley Indian Health, Inc., while I was in California for the Northern California YRTC Land Dedication Ceremony. Here are pictures from the site visit:

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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern Valley Indian Health Woodland Clinic Site Visit
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern Valley Indian Health Woodland Clinic Site Visit


Posted on Aug 7, 2013

Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication

On July 16, 2013, I attended the Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center (YRTC) Land Dedication Ceremony at D-Q University in Davis, CA. IHS recently acquired the land through a transfer from D-Q University for the future construction of the YRTC, which is planned to house a residential chemical dependence treatment center for American Indian and Alaska Native youth from ages 12-17. Here are pictures from the ceremony.

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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center Land Dedication, July 2013


Posted on Aug 6, 2013

NCAI Native Graduate Health Fellowship Meeting

I attended the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Native Graduate Health Fellowship Meeting on July 15, provided an IHS update, and answered questions. Here are pictures from the meeting:

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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - NCAI Native Graduate Health Fellowship Meeting, July 2013
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    Thumbnail - clicking will open full size image - NCAI Native Graduate Health Fellowship Meeting, July 2013