October 2013 Blogs
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!
IHS Launches Affordable Care Act Webpage
IHS has launched a user-friendly webpage on our IHS.gov 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 Healthcare.gov 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 301-443-1104
- Ben Smith, Director, IHS Office of Tribal Self Governance, at email@example.com. Phone: 301-443-7821
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|
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.
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