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At the White House Tribal Summit last week, Indian Health Service Director Roselyn Tso announced a reimbursement agreement for Native veterans.

Through a renewed joint agreement between IHS and Veterans Affairs signed on December 6, VA will continue to reimburse IHS for health care and related services provided to eligible Native veterans by or through IHS-operated healthcare facilities.

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The agencies have had a similar reimbursement agreement since 2012, when the VA first signed an MOU to financially compensate IHS for the direct health care provided to Alaska Native and Native American veterans. Under the new agreement, VA will also now reimburse IHS for referred care and contracted travel for eligible Native Veterans.

"Our American Indian and Alaska Native veterans deserve the best possible care available. Thanks to this updated agreement, they will now have access to even more high-quality care," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement. "The Indian Health Service has partnered with the Department of Veteran Affairs and tribal communities since 2012 to provide high-quality care to American Indian and Alaska Native veterans. I'm proud that we will continue to combine the expertise, services, and resources of our agencies to serve these American heroes while also promoting cultural competence that reflects their needs."

Tso told Native leaders at the White House Tribal Summit that the announcement is a result of continued collaboration between IHS and VA.

"This agreement will expand our ability to care for greater numbers of American Indian and Alaska Native veterans, a longstanding priority of not just our respective agencies, but one that holds personal significance to me as the daughter of a veteran,” she said.

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The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online. 
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