United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Dec 04, 2022

§ 1621.
Indian Health Care Improvement Fund
(a)
Use of funds
The Secretary, acting through the Service, is authorized to expend funds, directly or under the authority of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.),1
1
 See References in Text note below.
which are appropriated under the authority of this section, for the purposes of—
(1)
eliminating the deficiencies in health status and health resources of all Indian tribes;
(2)
eliminating backlogs in the provision of health care services to Indians;
(3)
meeting the health needs of Indians in an efficient and equitable manner, including the use of telehealth and telemedicine when appropriate;
(4)
eliminating inequities in funding for both direct care and contract health service programs; and
(5)
augmenting the ability of the Service to meet the following health service responsibilities with respect to those Indian tribes with the highest levels of health status deficiencies and resource deficiencies:
(A)
Clinical care, including inpatient care, outpatient care (including audiology, clinical eye, and vision care), primary care, secondary and tertiary care, and long-term care.
(B)
Preventive health, including mammography and other cancer screening.
(C)
Dental care.
(D)
Mental health, including community mental health services, inpatient mental health services, dormitory mental health services, therapeutic and residential treatment centers, and training of traditional health care practitioners.
(E)
Emergency medical services.
(F)
Treatment and control of, and rehabilitative care related to, alcoholism and drug abuse (including fetal alcohol syndrome) among Indians.
(G)
Injury prevention programs, including data collection and evaluation, demonstration projects, training, and capacity building.
(H)
Home health care.
(I)
Community health representatives.
(J)
Maintenance and improvement.
(b)
No offset or limitation

Any funds appropriated under the authority of this section shall not be used to offset or limit any other appropriations made to the Service under this chapter or section 13 of this title, or any other provision of law.

(c)
Allocation; use
(1)
In general

Funds appropriated under the authority of this section shall be allocated to Service units, Indian tribes, or tribal organizations. The funds allocated to each Indian tribe, tribal organization, or Service unit under this paragraph shall be used by the Indian tribe, tribal organization, or Service unit under this paragraph to improve the health status and reduce the resource deficiency of each Indian tribe served by such Service unit, Indian tribe, or tribal organization.

(2)
Apportionment of allocated funds

The apportionment of funds allocated to a Service unit, Indian tribe, or tribal organization under paragraph (1) among the health service responsibilities described in subsection (a)(5) shall be determined by the Service in consultation with, and with the active participation of, the affected Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

(d)
Provisions relating to health status and resource deficiencies
For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1)
Definition
The term “health status and resource deficiency” means the extent to which—
(A)
the health status objectives set forth in sections 1602(1) and 1602(2) of this title are not being achieved; and
(B)
the Indian tribe or tribal organization does not have available to it the health resources it needs, taking into account the actual cost of providing health care services given local geographic, climatic, rural, or other circumstances.
(2)
Available resources

The health resources available to an Indian tribe or tribal organization include health resources provided by the Service as well as health resources used by the Indian tribe or tribal organization, including services and financing systems provided by any Federal programs, private insurance, and programs of State or local governments.

(3)
Process for review of determinations

The Secretary shall establish procedures which allow any Indian tribe or tribal organization to petition the Secretary for a review of any determination of the extent of the health status and resource deficiency of such Indian tribe or tribal organization.

(e)
Eligibility for funds

Tribal health programs shall be eligible for funds appropriated under the authority of this section on an equal basis with programs that are administered directly by the Service.

(f)
Report
By no later than the date that is 3 years after March 23, 2010, the Secretary shall submit to Congress the current health status and resource deficiency report of the Service for each Service unit, including newly recognized or acknowledged Indian tribes. Such report shall set out—
(1)
the methodology then in use by the Service for determining tribal health status and resource deficiencies, as well as the most recent application of that methodology;
(2)
the extent of the health status and resource deficiency of each Indian tribe served by the Service or a tribal health program;
(3)
the amount of funds necessary to eliminate the health status and resource deficiencies of all Indian tribes served by the Service or a tribal health program; and
(4)
an estimate of—
(A)
the amount of health service funds appropriated under the authority of this chapter, or any other Act, including the amount of any funds transferred to the Service for the preceding fiscal year which is allocated to each Service unit, Indian tribe, or tribal organization;
(B)
the number of Indians eligible for health services in each Service unit or Indian tribe or tribal organization; and
(C)
the number of Indians using the Service resources made available to each Service unit, Indian tribe or tribal organization, and, to the extent available, information on the waiting lists and number of Indians turned away for services due to lack of resources.
(g)
Inclusion in base budget

Funds appropriated under this section for any fiscal year shall be included in the base budget of the Service for the purpose of determining appropriations under this section in subsequent fiscal years.

(h)
Clarification

Nothing in this section is intended to diminish the primary responsibility of the Service to eliminate existing backlogs in unmet health care needs, nor are the provisions of this section intended to discourage the Service from undertaking additional efforts to achieve equity among Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

(i)
Funding designation

Any funds appropriated under the authority of this section shall be designated as the “Indian Health Care Improvement Fund”.

(Pub. L. 94–437, title II, § 201, Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1404; Pub. L. 96–537, § 4, Dec. 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 3174; Pub. L. 100–713, title II, § 201(a), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4800; Pub. L. 102–573, title II, § 201(a), (c), 207(b), 217(b)(1), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4544, 4546, 4551, 4559; Pub. L. 111–148, title X, § 10221(a), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 935.)
cite as: 25 USC 1621