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Indian Nations

Tribal Health

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Tribal health facilities face challenges unique in the health care industry.

Like all other providers, tribal clinics must contract with M.D.s, nurses and other health professionals; comply with HIPAA and other applicable federal laws; enter into contractual relationships with hospitals and other outside providers; and establish and implement policies to assure quality care to patients. Unlike other health clinics, however, tribal clinics must operate under federal contracts under the Indian Education and Self-Determination Act of 1975 and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 1976, which place restrictions on the patients clinics can serve and fail to provide adequate funding, particularly for contract health services. Moreover, underfunded tribal clinics must serve a population with special needs, including high rates of diabetes, hypertension, substance abuse and other pathologies related to decades of poverty and discrimination.

Godfrey & Kahn’s health care lawyers use their knowledge of the unique laws and circumstances that apply in Indian country to assist tribal health administrators and elected leaders in meeting the health needs of their communities, including advice in connection with:

  • Clinic operations
  • Risk management
  • Professional contracts
  • Recruiting of professionals
  • Federal Tort Claims Act issues
  • Issues arising under the Self-Determination Act and Indian Health Care Improvement Act
  • Financing and construction of new facilities
  • Contract arrangements with outside providers and vendors
  • Indian Child Protection Act Compliance and other Background Check Requirements
  • Employment policies
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Insurance structures 

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