indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Obama administration asks tribes about infrastructure projects (9/23)
House passes measure to combat illegal sale of tribal property (9/23)
Mike Rounds: Righting historical wrongs against Native citizens (9/23)
Indian Health Service names new medical officer in Great Plains (9/23)
Interior Department finalizes rule for Native Hawaiian relations (9/23)
Native Sun News Today: Democrat accepts invitation to debate (9/23)
Jeffrey Whalen: A failed experiment in socialism at Pine Ridge (9/23)
Mary Annette Pember: A young boy's journey to Standing Rock (9/23)
Harlan McKosato: Obama must keep promise to Indian people (9/23)
Dean Suagee: Native input needed to guide future of our parks (9/23)
Another North Dakota tribe battles pipeline company in court (9/23)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe extends Class III gaming compact again (9/23)
Top gaming executive on Navajo Nation put on leave with pay (9/23)
Bill slammed as 'modern day Indian land grab' moves forward (9/22)
Republican lawmaker eagerly defends Dakota Access Pipeline (9/22)
Appeals court in DC sets stage for October 5 #NoDAPL hearing (9/22)
Bureau of Indian Affairs role in #NoDAPL 'task force' in doubt (9/22)
Miami language champion Daryl Baldwin earns 'genius grant' (9/22)
Landowners from Lower Brule Sioux Tribe see $11M in offers (9/22)
Mark Trahant: Politicians can no longer ignore the Native vote (9/22)
Native Sun News Today: Nation rallies to #NoDAPL movement (9/22)
Dave Archambault Sr.: History unfolds on Standing Rock land (9/22)
David Ganje: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe takes stand for water (9/22)
Democracy Now: Sacred Stone Camp founder standing ground (9/22)
Cronkite News: Navajo Nation pushes for cleanup of mine site (9/22)
Harold Monteau: #NoDAPL movement draws a line in the sand (9/22)
Judge restores affidavit option for North Dakota Native voters (9/22)
Editorial: Long overdue federal recognition for Virginia tribes (9/22)
Tohono O'odham Nation seeks sanctions in fight over casino (9/22)
California governor keeps busy with tribal gaming compacts (9/22)
County sheriff leads investigation into #NoDAPL confrontation (9/21)
Federal appeals court sets October 5 hearing in #NoDAPL case (9/21)
Tribes deliver Wisconsin firewood to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (9/21)
Democrats host forum on Dakota Access Pipeline on Capitol Hill (9/21)
Uncertainty on land-into-trust as Obama era comes to a close (9/21)
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.