VA is working to improve the health of our nation’s American Indian and Alaska (AI/AN) Veterans by expanding access to care and care coordination efforts with the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Tribal Health Programs (THPs) nationwide.
In 2012, VA signed a national reimbursement agreement with Indian Health Servic allowing VA to compensate IHS for direct health care provided to eligible AI/AN Veterans.
Recently extended through June 30, 2019, the agreement will continue to improve the Veteran experience with community care by providing timely access to care closer to home and strengthening VA’s high-performing network within a culturally sensitive community. The agreement is also used as a baseline to establish multiple reimbursement agreements (almost 100 to date) between VA and federally-recognized tribes to further expand access across the country for AI/AN Veterans and throughout Alaska for non-native Veterans.
In addition to providing thousands of eligible Veterans with direct care services, the agreement encourages resource sharing between the VA, Indian Health Service and THPs, and promotes quality health care through collaborative relationships and agreements.
If you’re interested in learning more about this important partnership, information about the program can be found on the Office of Tribal Government Relations website or by contacting the Tribal Agreements Program Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Baligh Yehia is VA’s deputy undersecretary for Health for Community Care.