indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Job Opening - Editor - Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Times
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
Choctaw Nation Trial:
Choctaw Nation releases statement after guilty verdict in case (11/21)
Former Choctaw Nation employee found guilty after lengthy trial (11/21)
Trial on Choctaw Nation fraud winds down with final testimony (11/21)
Leader of Choctaw Nation faces tough questions in fraud trial (11/21)
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux youth to join White House meet (11/21)
Obamas welcome youth from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to DC (11/21)
House passes bill to address Grand Portage Band per capitas (11/21)
House Natural Resources Committee passes three tribal bills (11/21)
Chaske Spencer: Changing the narrative for our Native youth (11/21)
Winona LaDuke: No one believes in the 'black snake' pipeline (11/21)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Tax disparities remain in Indian Country (11/21)
ICT interview with DOI deputy secretary on Cobell buy-backs (11/21)
Oglala Sioux Tribe rounds up dogs after deadly attack on girl (11/21)
Leader of Navajo Nation signs bill for higher tax on junk food (11/21)
North Dakota tribe in negotiations for pipeline to curb flaring (11/21)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe passes language to new generation (11/21)
Little Traverse Bay Bands swear in interim leader after recall (11/21)
Blog: Play-by-play of election controversy on Navajo Nation (11/21)
Column: Theories link Thanksgiving to 1637 Pequot massacre (11/21)
Editorial: Work with Burns Paiute Tribe on land-into-trust bid (11/21)
Ex-employee of Passamaquoddy Tribe admits to drug charge (11/21)
BIA publishes notice of Karuk Tribe Class III gaming compact (11/21)
Oklahoma reports drop in gaming exclusivity fees from tribes (11/21)
Pala Band gears up for official launch of Internet gaming site (11/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux woman shot and killed by police (11/20)
Mark Trahant: Lakota honor song wasn't out of place in Senate (11/20)
Dog attack blamed for death of eight-year-old girl at Pine Ridge (11/20)
DOI issues status report on Cobell land consolidation program (11/20)
Greg Grey Cloud explains Lakota honor song after Senate vote (11/20)
Steven Newcomb: Disestablishing the doctrines of domination (11/20)
Sen. Mark Begich: Moving forward for the first people of Alaska (11/20)
Bill Richardson: Indian Country feels effects of climate change (11/20)
Smithsonian: Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 won't be forgotten (11/20)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe sues South Dakota over sales tax (11/20)
Morongo Band distributes 10K turkeys for Thanksgiving meals (11/20)
GAO report looks at tribal implementation of Adam Walsh Act (11/20)
FBI opens background check database to tribal law agencies (11/20)
Survey shows most Americans wouldn't use R-word in person (11/20)
USDA Blog: Youth from Angoon Tribe carry on their traditions (11/20)
Editorial: County and critics must stop fighting Chumash Tribe (11/20)
Editorial: Oklahoma Indian museum benefits the entire state (11/20)
Muscogee Nation finally starts work on $365M gaming project (11/20)
Two tribes making push for off-reservation casino in California (11/20)
Mashantucket Tribe hires new executive for gaming operation (11/20)
Opinion: Catawba Nation makes a sneak attack with casino bid (11/20)
Opinion: Poarch Creek gaming deal won't help state's economy (11/20)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne activists push for change (11/19)
Mark Trahant: Historic election in Alaska with Native candidate (11/19)
Audio: Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on child trauma (11/19)
Republicans hold up action on Alaska tribal jurisdiction measure (11/19)
DOI official to give update on Cobell land consolidation program (11/19)
Center for Native American Youth hosts panel discussion in DC (11/19)
Sen. Heitkamp to host panel on child trauma in Indian Country (11/19)
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.