Category Archives: Public Policy

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

American Indian and Alaska Native Center CMS maintains its commitment to maximize American Indian/Alaska Native access to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through consultation with Tribes, culturally competent outreach and education, and other specific programs.

Tribal Technical Advisory Group (TTAG) was established in 2004 to provide advice and input to the CMS on policy and program issues affecting delivery of health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) served by CMS-funded programs.

TTAG Affordable Care Act Consultations The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) contains numerous provisions of importance to American Indians/Alaska Natives. CMS seeks to keep Indian Country informed on the important improvements to health care relevant to CMS programs in Indian Country such as Medicaid expansion and Indian-specific Medicare charges.

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Indian Health Services

Congressional and Legislative Affairs reports directly to the Office of the Director and is responsible for: reviewing proposed and pending legislation for the impact it might have on IHS funded programs; acting as the point of contact for congressional offices and providing them with technical assistance; presenting briefings on IHS programs and issues facing the agency; overseeing the budget formulation process of the agency.

Division of Regulatory Affairs (DRA) has responsibility for legal issues and questions affecting policy, and regulatory matters as they affect implementation, management and administration of IHS programs. The DRA consists of the Regulations and Records, and also has responsibility for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) functions, Privacy Act guidance, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Reports Clearance process.

Division of Program Statistics (DPS) produces the Indian Health Service’s statistical information and publications that measure and document the progress in assuring access to health care services and improving the health status of American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

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National and Regional Tribal Organizations

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities. NCAI works in collaboration with the National Indian Health Board, the National Council of Urban Indian Health and the regional health boards to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

National Indian Health Board (NIHB) represents Tribal governments—both those that operate their own health care delivery systems through contracting and compacting, and those receiving health care directly from the Indian Health Service (IHS). The NIHB provides a variety of services to tribes, Area Health Boards, Tribal organizations, federal agencies, and private foundations, including: advocacy, policy formation and analysis, legislative and regulatory tracking, direct and timely communication with tribes, research, program development and assessment, training and technical assistance, and project management.

Area Health Boards

The Area Health Boards serve as the communication link between the NIHB and the tribes. Area Health Boards advise in the development of positions on health policy, planning, and program design. They gather information and review public opinion and proposals. In areas without an Area Health Board, the NIHB representative communicates policy information and concerns to the tribes in that area.  

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Urban Indian Organizations

Over 67% of all American Indians and Alaska Natives live in urban areas. National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) is the only membership organization of Urban Indian Health Programs, providing advocacy, expanding resources, and creating a “national voice” for Native American/Alaska Natives living off reservation.

There are currently 36 Urban Indian Health Programs (UIHPs) that are part of the Indian Health Service and administered by the Office of Urban Indian Health Programs. All 39 of these health facilities are eligible members of NCUIH. Many of these programs provide dental services.


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