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WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a roundup of other news released from Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country recently.

HHS Initiates Tribal Consultation on Draft Tribal and Tribal Epidemiology Center Data Access Policy
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) invites tribal leader feedback and recommendations on its draft HHS Tribal and Tribal Epidemiology Center Data Access (TTDA) Policy . The policy outlines the types of data to be made available to Tribes and Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs) acting in their capacities as public health authorities. It also serves to establish HHS-wide expectations for Divisions responding to Tribal and TEC data requests covered by the policy, including through the development of Division-specific implementation protocols.
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HHS invites Tribal leaders to the following opportunities to provide input and feedback on the draft policy.

Virtual Consultation:
Date: February 6, 2024
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 PM EST
Call-In: 669-254-5252
Meeting ID: 161-416-1119
ZoomGov Registration:
Indian Health Service (IHS) Announces Calendar Year 2024 Reimbursement Rates and Launch of Associated Webpage: 
Indian Health Service Director Roselyn Tso issued a recent Dear Tribal Leader Letter in which she announced the publication of CY 2024 reimbursement rates in the Federal Register. The rates apply for inpatient and outpatient medical care provided at IHS facilities for Medicare (excluding inpatient Medicare Part A) and Medicaid beneficiaries, beneficiaries of other federal programs, and for recoveries under the Federal Medical Care Recovery Act. Director Tso also announced the launch of a new IHS website focused on reimbursement rate information, such as calculation and source documents. The new website is available here.

Written Comment Period:
Written comments are requested by March 5, 2024. Please send comments via one of the following methods:
Email[email protected]
Subject Line: HHS Tribal Data Policy
Postal Mail: Acting Director Jess Smith
Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Hubert Humphrey Building
200 Independence Ave. SW
Mail Stop: 620E
Washington, DC 20201
CDC and the Alzheimer's Association Solicit Input for Next Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map for Indian Country
The guide serves as a tool to learn about brain health and foster discussions on serving Tribal elders affected by Alzheimer's and dementia. The current Road Map covered the years 2018-2023 and development of the next guidance document is underway. Tribal leaders and community members are invited to provide input to help shape the public health response to Alzheimer's and dementia in Tribal communities. Comments may be submitted until January 19 using the embedded link in this webpage.
Tribal Consultation on World Intellectual Property Organization Intergovernmental Committee Negotiations Set

In October, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Department of Commerce, published a notice in the Federal Register on Formal Tribal Consultation on World Intellectual Property Organization Intergovernmental Committee Negotiations.

In the upcoming consultation, the USPTO will seek tribal input on how to best protect genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions as they are being discussed at the World Intellectual Property Organization. The Federal Register notice provides details for online webinars to be held in January 2024. Two of the four webinars will be for federally recognized Tribal Nations and two will be for state-recognized Tribes, tribal members, Native Hawaiians, and inter-tribal organizations. The USPTO also invites related written comments, to be submitted by February 23, 2024.

Webinar Dates: The webinars for federally recognized Tribal Nations and their proxies will be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, from 3 to 5 p.m. ET and Wednesday, January 17, 2024, from 3 to 5 p.m. ET. The webinars for state-recognized Tribes and other tribal members, Native Hawaiians and their representatives, and inter-tribal organizations, will be held on Friday, January 19, 2024, from 3 to 5 p.m. ET and Tuesday, January 23, 2024, from 3 to 5 p.m. ET. Register in advance to participate in one of these webinars at: https://cvent.me/​bZRP3L.

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