The Policy Assessment informs urban Indian organizations policy priorities for 2024, identifies barriers to workforce recruitment and retention, and addresses critical funding needs.
The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) is pleased to announce the release of its 2023 Policy Assessment. NCUIH hosted five focus groups to identify Urban Indian Organization (UIO) policy priorities for 2023, as they relate to the Indian Health Service (IHS) designated facility types (full ambulatory, limited ambulatory, outreach and referral, and outpatient and residential). The focus groups were held on October 3, 4, and 5, 2023.
Together these focus groups allow NCUIH to work with UIOs to identify policy priorities in 2024 and identify barriers that impact delivery of care to Native patients and their communities. Of the 41 UIOs, 18 attended and participated in the focus group sessions. This is the fourth year that NCUIH has conducted the assessment via focus groups sessions.
Overview of the Policy Assessment
During the focus group sessions, UIO leaders had the opportunity to share their opinions on the successes and challenges they experienced in 2023 and provide input on the policy areas where they would like to see the greatest policy support from NCUIH. Some of the key policy priority areas identified included increasing funding for the Indian Health Service and urban Indian health line items, securing 100% FMAP for UIOs, passing the Urban Indian Health Confer Act, reauthorizing the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, and reimbursing UIOs for traditional healing services.
Key Findings from the Policy Assessment are as follows:
- Funding Remains a Key Focus and Challenge
- Workforce Recruitment and Retention Remains Key Concern Amid Competitive Market
- Health Information Technology Modernization Challenges
- Actions Taken to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons, Despite Absent Adequate Funding
- Need for Increased HIV Prevention and Treatment Resources
- Barriers to the Provision of Traditional Healing
- Clear Need to Increase and Diversify Resources to Address Food Insecurity
- Lack of Stable Housing for Native People
NCUIH will release a comprehensive document of the 2024 Policy Priorities in the coming weeks.