Includes $50 million to UIOs for testing
On May 19, 2020 the Indian Health Service (IHS) announced the most recent round of COVID-19 funding determinations in a Dear Tribal Leader and Urban Indian Organization Leader Letter (DULL). The DULL outlines the total allocations for the $750 million appropriation for Indian Country Health Care Providers in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPHCEA). The Act was signed into law on April 24, 2020 and provided the funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, to be used in support of testing and testing related activities for Tribal Health Programs (THPs) and Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs).
IHS’s funding determinations include $50 million for UIOs, which will be distributed through the existing Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) contracts. As outlined in the Act, the funds are to be used for the purchase, administration, process, and analysis of COVID-19 testing, including the support for workforce, epidemiology, and use by employers in other settings. UIOs IHCIA contracts will receive modified scopes of work and bilateral modifications to their IHCIA contracts consistent with the funding purposes for which the funds were appropriated.
Other funding determinations announced in the DULL include $550 million to IHS Federal health programs and THPs, of which $50 million is to be used for new Purchased/ Referred Care (PRC) funds. $100 million will be used to purchase tests, testing supplies, and PPE for the IHS National Supply Service Center (NSSC). UIOs are eligible to receive supplies from the NSSC. The final $50 million is allocated for nation-wide coordination, epidemiological, surveillance, and public health support.
This third round of COVID-19 funding comes after the April 29, 2020 Urban Confer and Tribal Consultation calls regarding this funding as well as weekly IHS-hosted UIO Leader COVID-19 calls advocated for by the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH). NCUIH continues to advocate on behalf of UIOs and the urban Indian populations they serve during this public health crisis.