IHS Awards Funding for Health Care Self-Governance

Tribes awarded more than one-third of the annual IHS budget for governing and operating their health programs.


Native American tribes have the right to assume responsibility for providing health care to their members and to operate and manage health care programs or services previously provided by IHS, subject to certain requirements. As part of an annual IHS cooperative agreement to support this, IHS has awarded $767,000 to 7 tribes and tribal organizations for self-governance planning and negotiation activities.

The Planning Cooperative Agreement funding will go to Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Arizona; Ak-Chin Indian Community, Arizona; White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota; Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, Oregon; Pinoleville Pomo Nation, California; and Lake County Tribal Health Consortium, Inc, California. The money will be used for legal and budgetary research and internal tribal government planning related to the administration of health care programs.

The Negotiation Cooperative Agreement funding goes to the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. That money helps defray costs related to preparing for the self-governance program negotiations. Negotiations provide an opportunity for the tribal and federal negotiation teams to work together in good faith to enhance each self-governance agreement, IHS says.

More than one-third (about $1.8 billion) of the total annual IHS funding for American Indian and Alaska Native health is now transferred directly to tribes to operate and manage health programs or services. Of the 567 federally recognized tribes, 354 participate and have negotiated 90 compacts and 115 funding agreements.

The partnership between IHS and self-governance tribes, says IHS Principal Deputy Director Mary Smith, is a “shining example of cooperation in providing access to quality health care.”

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