NCUIH 2022 Policy Priorities Released

The 2022 policy priorities were informed by NCUIH’s 2021 Annual Policy Assessment containing information collected from a series of focus groups held with urban Indian organization (UIO) leaders and a questionnaire to UIOs.

NCUIH is pleased to announce the release of its 2022 Policy Priorities, which outlines the most pressing Congressional and Federal issues for UIOs. These priorities were informed by NCUIH’s 2021 Policy Assessment.

Last year, NCUIH hosted five focus groups to identify UIO policy priorities for 2022, as they relate to Indian Health Service (IHS)-designated facility types (full ambulatory, limited ambulatory, outreach and referral, and outpatient and residential). Information was also collected from UIOs via a questionnaire. This is the second year that NCUIH has conducted focus groups and sent a questionnaire to UIOs to formulate key legislative priorities for the following year.


Upholding the highest health status for all American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), parity in the Indian health system, and improving IHS are the overall themes for the 2022 priorities. New priorities were identified, such as achieving full funding for IHS and urban Indian health, advancing HIV efforts in AI/AN communities, improving data in Indian health, and improving IHS area office consistency. Existing priorities also remain a key focus across the UIOs, especially funding flexibility, improving federal dialogue with all AI/ANs through urban confer policies, and parity issues such as permanent 100% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).

2022 Policy Priorities:

Upholding the Highest Health Status for All American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs)

  • Fully Fund the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Urban Indian Health at the Amounts Requested by Tribes
    • FY 2023 Request for IHS: $49.8 billion.
    • FY 2023 Request for the Urban Indian Line Item: $949.9 million.
  • Improving Behavioral Health for All American Indians and Alaska Natives
    • Enact the Native Behavioral Health Access Improvement Act (H.R. 4251/S. 2226) to Provide at Least $200 million Annually to Indian Health Care Providers.
    • Enact the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 2379) to Provide Critical Investments to Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and UIOs to Fight the Opioid Epidemic.
  • Attain Advance Appropriations for Indian Health and Improve Funding Certainty
    • Enact the Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act (H.R. 5567/S. 2985) and Indian Health Service Advance
      Appropriations Act (H.R. 5549) to Insulate Indian Health Care Providers from Shutdowns.
    • Allow UIOs to Receive all Funds at the Start of a Continuing Resolution (Exception Apportionment)
  • “Nothing About Us Without Us”: Improving Health Outcomes Through Dialogue
    • Enact the Urban Indian Health Confer Act (H.R. 5221) to Establish an Urban Confer for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
    • Include UIOs in Advisory Committees that Focus on Indian Health.
    • Establish an Urban Indian Interagency Work Group to Identify the Needs and Develop Strategies to Better Serve Urban AI/AN Populations.
  • Improving Native Veteran Health Outcomes
    • Establish an Urban Confer for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
    • Enact the STRONG Veterans Act of 2022 (H.R.6411).
  • Special Diabetes Program for Indians: A Proven Case of Decreased Diabetes Prevalence and Improved
    Health Outcomes for AI/AN People

    • Permanently Reauthorize Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) at a Minimum of $250 Million Annually.
  • Healing from Federal Boarding Schools
    • Enact the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act
  • Ending the Pandemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP)
    • Enact the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (S. 3623).
  • Improving Data in Indian Health
    • Enact the Tribal Health Data Improvement Act (H.R. 3841).
  • Improving the Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic for AI/ANs
    • Enact the Tribal Medical Supplies Stockpile Access Act of 2022 (H.R. 6372/S. 3444).
  • Tackling the Stigma and Advancing HIV Efforts in AI/AN Communities
    • Increase Innovative Resources to Reduce Stigma and Fear Around HIV in AI/AN Communities.
    • Increase Behavioral Health Support Resources at UIOs for AI/ANs Living with HIV.

Parity in the Indian Health System

  • Increasing Resources Supporting Medicaid-IHS Beneficiaries
    • Enact the Urban Indian Health Parity Act (H.R. 1373 or H.R. 1888) to Ensure Permanent Full (100%) Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Services Provided at UIOs.
  • Improving the Indian Health Workforce
    • Inclusion of UIOs in National Community Health Aide Program (CHAP).

Improving the Indian Health Service

  • Data is Dollars: Ensuring Accurate Data Collection in the Indian Health System
    • Health IT/Electronic Health Record (EHR) Improvement and IHS National Data Warehouse Reporting
  • Continuity in the Indian Health System
    • Improve Area Office Consistency.
  • Elevate the Health Care Needs of Native Americans Within the Federal Government
    • Enact the Stronger Engagement for Indian Health Needs Act (H.R. 6406) to elevate the IHS Director to Assistant Secretary for Indian Health.

Read the 2022 Policy Priorities

Read the 2021 Policy Assessment

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