Health | Law

Arctic Slope Native Association gets ruling over IHS contract

The Arctic Slope Native Association in Alaska will be awarded contract support costs from the Indian Health Service under a ruling from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday.

The association manages the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital under a self-determination agreement with IHS. The organization claims it is owed $2.7 million in unpaid contract support costs for fiscal years 1999 and 2000.

The Federal Circuit initially ruled that IHS didn't have to make up for the funding shortfall. But after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, a contract support cost case, the Obama administration agreed to pay Arctic Slope for the two years in question.

"We agree that the Supreme Court’s decision in Ramah Navajo is controlling and that the Secretary is obligated to pay all of the disputed contract support costs for fiscal years 1999 and 2000," the Federal Circuit ruled.

The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals will determine the exact amount owed.

Federal Circuit Decision:
Arctic Slope Native Association v. Sebelius (August 22, 2012)

Supreme Court Decision:
Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter (June 18, 2012)

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