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October 2013 Blogs

Posted on Oct 23, 2013

2013 IHS Virtual Tribal Consultation
Summit - UPDATE

The IHS Virtual Tribal Consultation Summit has been rescheduled for November 4 - 5, 2013. I previously sent a letter to Tribes about the Summit - all the information on the Summit is the same; just the dates have changed. We will use an online webinar format and will hold the meetings in the afternoon on each of the days to accommodate the range of time zones in all our IHS Areas. The first day will be a general session and the second day will focus on the IHS budget. Please register per the instructions in the letter [PDF - 43 KB] and in the SAVE THE DATE flyer [PDF - 183 KB]. Hope you can join our first (rescheduled) Virtual Tribal Consultation Summit!

Posted on Oct 21, 2013

IHS Launches Affordable Care Act Webpage

IHS has launched a user-friendly webpage on our website to help American Indians and Alaska Native better understand and take advantage of the potential benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the Health Marketplaces. The webpage addresses issues such as eligibility determination, dependents coverage, cost-sharing exemptions, and the Marketplace application process. It also has links to important additional resources for American Indians and Alaska Natives on the Affordable Care Act.

The potential 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 can take advantage of the States expansion of Medicaid starting in 2014. These new benefits could mean more services for individuals and the communities we serve. So we’re encouraging every uninsured American Indian and Alaska Native to explore to see what benefits are available to them and consider enrolling in the Marketplaces. We hope this new webpage will help make this process easier and more understandable.

Visit the IHS Affordable Care Act page.

Posted on Oct 18, 2013

IHS Update

Now that the shutdown has ended, the challenge of re-establishing normal operations quickly is a top priority. IHS federal facilities are continuing to provide services to our patients. IHS will need time to set new dates for meetings, conferences, grant and contract submissions/payments, ISDEAA negotiations, CDA claims deadlines, and other activities that were scheduled to happen during and immediately following the period of the shutdown. It will take us several days to implement and resume full operations, so please bear with us and thank you for your patience.

In addition, activities towards payments to tribal contracts and compacts will occur as soon as possible. Consistent with OMB's guidance to the Department on apportionments, IHS will allot funding to the IHS Areas and they will confirm the exact amounts to be paid to each tribal contract and compact in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement. Then funds will be obligated and payment will be electronically transmitted to the Tribe.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Contact numbers are listed in a previous blog.

Posted on Oct 9, 2013

Indian Health Service 2013 Tribal Consultation Virtual Summit POSTPONED

We regret to inform you that the IHS 2013 Tribal Consultation Virtual Summit scheduled for October 9-10, 2013, has been postponed until further notice due to the current government shutdown.

If you have questions, please contact:

  • Chris Buchanan, Director, IHS Office of Direct Service and Contracting Tribes, by e-mail at Phone: 301-443-1104
  • Ben Smith, Director, IHS Office of Tribal Self Governance, at Phone: 301-443-7821

Posted on Oct 7, 2013

Update #2: Lapse in Appropriations

During the government shutdown, we want to encourage Tribes to contact their Area and Headquarters offices for assistance or questions. Contact numbers that may be useful to you are listed below:

IHS Area Offices
Alaska 907-729-3686 Nashville 615-467-1500
Aberdeen 605-226-7581 Navajo 928-871-5811
Albuquerque 505-248-4500 Oklahoma City 405-951-3820
Bemidji 218-444-0452 Phoenix 602-364-5039
Billings 406-247-7107 Portland 503-414-5555
California 916-930-3981, ext. 334 Tucson 520-295-2405
IHS Headquarters Offices
Office of Tribal Self-Governance 301-443-7821
Office Of Direct Service and Contracting Tribes 301-443-1794
Office of Urban Indian Health Programs 301-443-1631
IHS Headquarters Main Numbers 301-443-1083

Posted on Oct 1, 2013

Update: Lapse in Appropriations

IHS provides healthcare services, and our activities involve the safety of human life and protection of property. Accordingly, these services are excepted from a lapse in appropriations under the applicable legal requirements, and the Service Unit employees performing them will continue to work. They will be required to work during the shutdown on non-pay status. Other IHS employees at Headquarters and Area Offices will be furloughed. We have notified all employees of their status – excepted or furlough – for a shutdown. IHS also has employees who are paid on prior year funds, mandatory appropriations (Special Diabetes Program for Indians) and reimbursements (non-appropriation funds). Those employees will continue working as usual, as they are not impacted by a lapse in annual appropriations.

IHS has determined that all contracts and compacts under P.L.93-638 provide healthcare services that involve the safety of human life, and are excepted under the applicable legal requirements as well, and Tribes should continue to operate their healthcare services with available funding and alternate resources. We are doing everything we can to ensure that the patients we serve still have access to healthcare in order to preserve the safety of human life.

IHS hospitals and clinics will be open for business during the shutdown.