August Policy Updates: Budget Updates, UIO Focus Groups, & Important RFIs

Welcome to the August edition of our monthly policy newsletter, delivering the latest updates and insights on key developments.

Budget Update:

Budget #

House Status:

  • The House Appropriations Committee advanced the Interior Appropriations bill on July 18.

Go deeperHouse IHS Funding Bill Passes out of Committee with Advance Appropriations and Modest Increase for the Indian Health Service

Senate Status:

  • On July 27, 2023, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed their bill out of committee with a vote of 28-0 and will advance to the Senate floor for initial passage.
  • Similar to the House Bill, the Senate IHS Funding Bill also included Advance Appropriations and a modest increase for the Indian Health Service.
  • Establishment of UIO Interagency Workgroup: The bill also includes direction for IHS to establish a UIO Interagency Workgroup with the IHS, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Department of Education, Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Labor, the Small Business Administration, the Economic Development Agency, FEMA, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and others as identified by UIOs.​

Next Steps:

  • With the government funding deadline of September 30 rapidly approaching, Congressional leaders are negotiating a continuing resolution to fund the government at the current level until December.
  • A continuing resolution will give Senate and House leadership time to negotiate a final bill that can pass in both chambers.

Upcoming Events and Important Dates: UIO Listening Session, National Fentanyl and Opioid Summit

Calendar with events on it

Upcoming Comments and Submissions​:

  • September 1 – Comment deadline to the Indian Health Service on Health Information Technology Modernization​
  • September 15 – Comment deadline to the DOI, DOJ, and Department of Health and Human Services on Strengthening the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) ​

Upcoming Events

  • August 22-24: IHS – Partnership Conference.​
  • August 22-24: National Indian Health Board/Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board is hosting a National Fentanyl and Opioid Summit
  • August 23: NCUIH UIO Listening Session on HIV/AIDS. Register here.
  • August 29: Substance Abuse Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Tribal Technical Advisory Committee Meeting​
  • August 29: SAMHSA Tribal Listening Session and Virtual Tribal Consultation on Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder Resources for Native Americans​
  • August 29-30: DOI Self-Governance Advisory Committee Meeting​
  • August 30-31: IHS Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee Meeting​
  • September 6: IHS – Advance Appropriations Listening Session for Tribal and UIO to share information and solicit input on advance appropriations implementation.​ UIOs are encouraged to attend and ask any questions you have regarding advance appropriations and their impact on your contracts. Click here to join the listening session.

Important Requests for Information from UIO Leaders


We need input from Urban Indian leaders to help shape our advocacy and comments to federal agencies on policies affecting UIOs and American Indians/Alaska Natives living in urban areas.

Please email with information on the following:

DOI – Strengthening ICWA

  • Does your UIO work with State courts or child welfare agencies on child welfare or if not, would you like to?​
  • Does your UIO work with Tribes on child welfare or if not, would you like to?​
  • How can we improve the implementation of ICWA for Native children in urban areas? ​

DOJ – Medical/Legal Partnership​s

NCUIH recently met with the DOJ Office for Access to Justice (ATJ). ATJ is looking to support increased access to legal assistance for urban Native communities.

  • Do any UIOs have successful medical-legal partnerships?

IHS – Medicaid fraud schemes targeting American Indians and Alaska Natives

IHS Director Tso wrote a letter to Tribal and UIO leaders regarding fraudulent billing activities of registered behavioral health providers, and it appears to now be affecting programs in the Billings Area.​

  • Have any of your organizations been impacted by fraudulent residential treatment practices exploiting vulnerable Native communities?​

Medicaid Unwinding

  • How is unwinding proceeding in your state?
  • Do you have any data regarding AI/AN disenrollment?​

NCUIH Requests Urban Indian Inclusion in MMIP and Human Tracking Initiatives

Not Invisible Commission

Secretary Deb Haaland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco hosted the first in-person plenary session of the Not Invisible Act Commission at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. in February 2023.

On August 10, NCUIH submitted comments to the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Not Invisible Act Commission regarding the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) and human trafficking (HT) crises​ to ensure that urban Native communities are considered.

The bottom line: NCUIH recommended that the Commission ensure that resources are available to combat MMIP, HT, and violent crime against American Indians and Alaska Natives in urban areas.

Why it matters: The federal government must ensure that it properly tracks and reports data on instances of missing persons, murder, and human trafficking of American Indians and Alaska Natives in urban areas.​

Go deeper: Learn more about the Not Invisible Commission.

Legislative Updates: Native American Child Protection Act Advances in House, Advance Appropriations Legislation Introduced


In June, the Native American Child Protection Act (H.R. 663/S.2273) was passed by unanimous consent out of Natural Resources.​ The bipartisan legislation amends the Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act to include UIOs in the Indian Child Abuse Treatment Grant Program and permits UIOs to sit on the National Indian Child Resource and Family Services Advisory Board.​

On July 24, the House and Senate introduced the Indian Program Advance Appropriations Act (H.R. 4832/ S. 2424)​ to provide advanced appropriations for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, and the Indian Health Service.

Upcoming: NCUIH UIO Focus Groups

NCUIH UIO Focus Groups

We are excited to announce our upcoming virtual web series, “NCUIH UIO Focus Groups: Setting Policy Priorities for 2024.”

Why it matters: The focus groups will also provide an invaluable opportunity to reflect on the achievements and challenges of 2023, fostering a deeper understanding of the progress made and the areas that require further attention.

The big picture: Participants will be encouraged to share their personal experiences, insights, and feedback, ensuring that the perspectives of our UIO partners play a pivotal role in shaping the path forward.

  • October 3: Full Ambulatory​ at 1:00-2:30 pm EDT [Register Here]
  • October 3: Outpatient and Residential​ at 3:00-4:30 p.m. EDT​ [Register Here]
  • October 4: Limited Ambulatory​ at 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT​ [Register Here]
  • October 4: Outreach and Referral​ at 3:00-4:30 p.m. EDT​ [Register Here]
  • October 5: Makeup Session​ at 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT [Register Here]

What if I can’t make it?: If you cannot attend your facility-type session or the makeup session, NCUIH will schedule a one-on-one session with you. Please email to request a one-on-one session.

NCUIH In Action


MR presenting NCUIH Vice President of Policy and Communications, Meredith Raimondi, presents at IHS Bemidji Area Meeting with Urban Indian Leaders

On July 20, NCUIH presented on urban Indian health updates at the IHS Bemidji Area Urban-face to-face meeting and gave an update on relevant federal policies, appropriations, Supreme Court cases, and legislation.​

Culleen Presents

NCUIH/NORC Report Briefing for CMS TTAG

On July 26, NCUIH staff (Chandos Culleen, JD, Director of Federal Relations, Isaiah O’Rear, M.A., M.Ed, Health Policy Statistician & Nahla Holland (Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation) Research Associate) presented to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Tribal Technical Advisory Group on our Traditional Healing and Primary Care Case Management/Indian Managed Care Entity Reports.​

Francys presents

NCUIH CEO, Francys Crevier, participates in a panel discussion on Native life expectancy

On August 9-10, the University of New Mexico Center for Native American Health hosted its “Native American Life Discrepancy in 2023: A Chronic Disease of Injustice” Symposium. ​NCUIH CEO, Francys Crevier explored the intersection of historical injustices, socio-economic challenges, and systemic barriers that continue to contribute to significant health issues facing Indian Country. She highlighted the critical importance of collaborative efforts, policy advocacy, and community-driven initiatives in addressing these inequalities and fostering sustainable positive change for urban Native American health and well-being.

Thank you for all your hard work and advocacy!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *