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

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Budget Planning With Tribes

Graphic depicting U.S. Capitol Dome with images of a calculator key board, calculator tape readout, and a photo of vast Indian lands


The annual budget request of the Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the result of a budget formulation and consultation process that involves IHS and Indian health program representatives and providers from the local to the national level. This process ensures that the budget is relevant to the health needs and priorities of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people.


The IHS budget request is improved and strengthened with the participation of tribal leaders and health program representatives in its development. The process begins at the local level, where budget priorities are established based on the health priorities of the local community. The tribal leadership and program staff of the 12 IHS Areas (regions) develop and submit budget recommendations for an agency budget request for a given fiscal year, which are consolidated into a national set of budget and health priorities by representatives from each of the 12 IHS Areas. These priorities are presented to HHS by representatives of the tribal budget workgroup. The tribal priorities are instrumental in informing senior officials of other HHS agencies of the health needs of the AI/AN population so that they have the opportunity to include those priorities in their individual budget requests to HHS.


The IHS and Tribes evaluate the budget formulation process to ensure it remains relevant and effective. As a result, the process is steadily improving and is responsive to changes in leadership and the emerging and shifting tribal health priorities.


The IHS will continue to refine the budget formulation process.


For referral to the appropriate spokesperson, contact the IHS Public Affairs Staff at 301-443-3593.

January 2015

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