NIHB Supports House Bill to Require Veterans Health Administration to Reimburse Indian Health Providers

WASHINGTON, DC—July 22, 2020—The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Acting Chairman William Smith testified today before the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States (SCIP) for a legislative hearing on the “PRC for Native Veterans Act” (H.R. 6237). This critical bill would amend the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to clarify that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the Department of Defense are required to reimburse the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Tribal health programs for healthcare services provided to Native veterans through an authorized referral. Acting Chairman Smith, who is a Vietnam veteran, stressed that third-party reimbursement adds funds to the IHS Purchase/Referred Care (PRC) system so specialty services can be purchased and reiterated that the government has a dual responsibility to Native veterans.

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