indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Wash. report lays out plan for Indian health care
Tuesday, September 9, 2003

A new report from a coalition of tribal and state officials in Washington paints a picture of the health status of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The report's findings probably won't come as a surprise to anyone in Indian Country. From poverty to diabetes to substance abuse, Native Americans are affected at higher rates than the general population, according to statistics.

But while the "2003 American Indian Health Care Delivery Plan," a collaboration of the American Indian Health Commission and the Washington Department of Health, notes the problems, it also highlights the successes. By working together, officials believe tribes and states can improve the health status of Native people.

"In this time of shrinking federal dollars for the Indian Health Service and state budget shortfalls, it is very important that we have a joint commitment to improve health care for our people," said Marilyn Scott, head of the AIHC and chairwoman of the Upper Skagit Tribe.

Completed in July and released yesterday, the report combines tribal, state and federal sources on a wide variety of health and environmental indicators. Everything from IHS funding to tobacco use is discussed, with data emphasizing the disparities affecting Native Americans, who make up about 2 percent of Washington's population.

Among the major findings:
Death rates for Native due to stroke, chronic liver disease, and diabetes are higher than for the total population.
Violence, suicide, and injury death rates among Natives are higher than for the state as a whole.
The Native population has higher rates of several infectious diseases.
Pregnant Native women delay prenatal care longer, are younger, and are more likely to smoke, resulting in poorer birth outcomes.
Native children have poorer oral health.
Natives have a higher rate of obesity, and the obesity rate for youth is increasing.
Tobacco use among Natives is high and likely increasing.
Alcohol and substance abuse is a significant problem among men, women, and youth, and death rates due to causes related to alcoholism are substantially higher.

Limited access to health care, lack of health insurance and inadequate federal funding are some of the reasons for the disparities, according to the report. In 2002, only 79 percent of Native Americans were insured, the lowest rate of all racial and ethnic groups in the state.

Since the Portland area of IHS lacks a hospital, many Native Americans living on or near reservations rely on service purchased through IHS contract health service (CHS) funds, which tribes say fail to cover needs. Urban Indian programs don't receive CHS funds and must look to other federal, state and outside sources.

One way tribal and state officials are working together to improve these conditions is through Medicaid Administrative Match funding. Washington was the first state to contract with tribes for the federal program, which allows tribes to be reimbursed for providing services o patients enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare. According to the report, the reimbursements are a significant source of revenue for tribes, and they prevent basic services from being cut because IHS funding fails to keep up with inflation.

Individual tribes work with the state to tailor specific needs. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, recognized as a leader by IHS, combines federal funding with state contracts to offer a broad range of services to more than 1,000 tribal members and Native Americans.

Get the Report:
2003 American Indian Health Care Delivery Plan (September 2003)

Relevant Links:
American Indian Health Commission - http://www.aihc-wa.org
Washington Department of Health - http://www.doh.wa.gov

Related Stories:
Cancer rates on the decline in Indian Country (09/03)
Health studies show Indian Country disparities (08/01)
Diabetes rates explode in Indian Country (05/07)
CDC atlas documents disparity in stroke deaths (02/21)
Tribes told to explore health funding options (02/05)
Indian Country receives diabetes grants (12/11)
Congress approves $750M for Indian diabetes (11/21)
Northern Plains tribes see high infant death rate (10/30)
Americans, young and old, are getting fatter (10/09)
Elder care study shows worsening problems (07/11)
Report stresses importance of health insurance (5/22)
Poor Indian health blamed on federal failures (3/21)
CDC: Death rates at record lows, except Indians (10/11)
CDC: Indian mothers heaviest smokers (8/29)
Indian Country ranks high in deaths (6/27)
Cancer deaths increase in Indian Country (6/6)
CDC: HIV statistics point to new 'epidemic' (6/1)

Copyright 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Violence against Native women is on the rise (10/24)
Morgan Howard: Corporate dividends confict with Tlingit values (10/24)
David Wilkins: Abandon the Doctrine of Discovery in Indian law (10/24)
Navajo Nation candidate Chris Deschene won't halt campaign (10/24)
Tribes receive $1.2M in Sovereignty in Indian Education funds (10/24)
Language preservation a top issue as AFN opens annual meet (10/24)
Rep. Don Young to speak to Alaska Natives amid controversy (10/24)
Think Progress: South Dakota county suppresses Native vote (10/24)
Opinion: Tribes turn their acumen to Internet lending industry (10/24)
Chickasaw Nation signs compact with state for license plates (10/24)
Federal judge won't be removed from Miccosukee Tribe's case (10/24)
Radio: NPS allowed destruction of tribal burial mounds in Iowa (10/24)
BIA announces intent to put Cowlitz Tribe gaming site in trust (10/24)
Feinstein opposes North Fork Rancheria off-reservation casino (10/24)
Salt River Tribe arrests man who left children in casino garage (10/24)
Closure of Chukchansi Tribe's casino could affect contributions (10/24)
Opinion: Shinnecock Nation's casino plans remain under cloud (10/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe heads to election season (10/23)
Al Caroll: Recognize tribal sovereignty in new US Constitution (10/23)
Michael Baines: Senate candidate battles Alaska Native rights (10/23)
President Barack Obama urges early voting for Alaska Natives (10/23)
Ho-Chunk Nation woman named president of Girl Scouts board (10/23)
3rd Circuit won't force town to repatriate Jim Thorpe's remains (10/23)
Navajo Nation's top court orders new ballots without candidate (10/23)
Alaska Federation of Natives ready to open annual convention (10/23)
Alaska governor to sign Native languages bill six months later (10/23)
Rep. Don Young blames government 'largesse' for suicide rate (10/23)
Washington player says tattoo represents Cherokee heritage (10/23)
Crow Tribe seeks renewal of Indian Coal Production Tax Credit (10/23)
Native advocates come together to combat domestic violence (10/23)
Agua Caliente Band and DOJ submit briefs in water rights case (10/23)
Former health executive from Chippewa Cree Tribe sentenced (10/23)
Final person sentenced in theft from Blackfeet Nation program (10/23)
Opinion: Tribes exploit loopholes in America's political system (10/23)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe announces plans for new gaming facility (10/23)
Rival leaders of Chukchansi Tribe to meet amid casino closure (10/23)
Navajo Nation challenges lawsuit over death of casino patron (10/23)
Law Article: Judge restricts BIA authority in Class III dispute (10/23)
Column: Election won't end North Fork off-reservation casino (10/23)
Eyapaha Today: Oneida singer follows in mother's footsteps (10/22)
Native Sun News: Candidate seeks investigation into program (10/22)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Lakota people disrespect our language (10/22)
Cedric Sunray: Standing together to fight tribal disenrollment (10/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.