[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 145 (Tuesday, July 29, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44090-44091]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17797]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


Notice of Tribal Consultation

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Notice of Tribal Consultation.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Tribal 
Government Relations (OTGR) will host a Tribal Consultation on the 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between VA and the Indian Health 
Service (IHS) and how the MOU has affected health care for Veterans. 
The consultation session will be held on September 8, 2014, at Hyatt 
Regency Albuquerque, 330 Tijeras NW., Albuquerque, New Mexico from 1:00 
p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

DATES: Comments must be submitted to VA no later than Wednesday, 
October 8, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Written comments concerning the consultation may be 
submitted as follows:
    Email: tribalgovernmentconsultation@va.gov.
    Mail: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of 
Intergovernmental Affairs (075F), 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Suite 915G, 
Washington, DC 20420.
    This deadline does not preclude anyone from providing testimony at 
the session and we will, to the extent that times allows, hear your 
testimony. For any Tribe unable to present testimony, please be aware 
that VA will keep the testimony record open for 30 days after the date 
of the consultation. All 2014 consultation testimony, as well as 
official responses from VA, will be shared with tribal governments 
through a VA tribal consultation report to be disseminated in 2015.
    Registration for the consultation is not required, but if you wish 
to register, please submit your name, title, Tribe or organization, 
phone, and email address to tribalgovernmentconsultation@va.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Terry Bentley, Tribal Government 
Relations Specialist/Western Region, VA Office of Tribal Government 
Relations at (541) 440-1271, or by email at Terry.Bentley@va.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In October 2010, the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS) signed a Memorandum of 
Understanding (MOU) to establish coordination, collaboration, and 
resource-sharing between the two organizations. The goal of the MOU is 
to bring together the strengths and expertise of each agency to 
actively improve the care and services provided by both of them.
    The MOU sets forth five mutual goals for VA and IHS:
    1. Increase access to and improve quality of health care services.
    2. Promote patient-centered collaboration and facilitate 
communication among VA, IHS, American Indian and Alaska Native 
Veterans, Tribal facilities and Urban Indian Clinics.

[[Page 44091]]

    3. In consultation with tribes at the regional and local levels, 
establish effective partnerships and sharing agreements.
    4. Ensure that appropriate resources are identified and available 
to support programs for American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans.
    5. Improve health-promotion and disease-prevention services to 
American Indians and Alaska Natives to address community-based 
wellness.
    The purpose of the consultation is to assess the level of awareness 
tribes have about the MOU and its impact on Veteran care, as well as, 
the MOU's role in supporting access to care for Veterans living in 
Indian Country. The agency is seeking input from tribal leaders on the 
questions listed below:
    1. What do you know about the 2010 Veterans Affairs/Indian Health 
Service Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?
    2. How did your community learn about the 2010 Veterans Affairs/
Indian Health Service MOU?
    3. What is the status of access to health care for Native Veterans 
in your community since the VA/IHS MOU was signed in 2010?
    a. Has it improved?
    b. Has it gotten worse?
    c. No change?
    d. Can you provide examples?
    4. Specifically, is health care for Native Veterans in your 
community more accessible? Which aspects of the VA/IHS MOU are most 
critical to improving Native American access to health care?
    5. Specifically, is there more coordination between your local 
health care facility and VA for the Veterans in your community?
    6. Are there other aspects to quality of life in your community 
that have been impacted by the VA/IHS MOU?
    7. How are the Reimbursement Agreements (under which VA reimburses 
the IHS or a Tribal Health Program for direct health care services 
provided to eligible American Indian/Alaska Native Veterans in those 
facilities) helping Veterans in Indian Country?
    8. What can VA and IHS do to better educate the community on the 
VA/IHS MOU?

    Dated: July 24, 2014.
Robert C. McFetridge,
Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the 
General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2014-17797 Filed 7-28-14; 8:45 am]
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