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Roles and Responsibilities of Tribal
Health Board Members



Indian health boards are responsible for contracting and sometimes delivering services where numerous laws and regulations apply. Health board members must stay abreast of the proposed regulations and legal issues that affect Indian health care and tribal organizations.

At times, serving as a board member can be risky due to the liabilities attached to board decisions or employee tort claims. Recognizing this risk, Indian Self-Determination Act amendments (P.L. 100-472) provide for liability protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act.  Even with this coverage, however, you’re not fully protected. This class will help you to see where your board has potential pitfalls and will show you how to avoid or lessen the risk of liability.

This class also looks at the myriad of issues health board members face, including diabetes and drug and alcohol abuse in Indian Country, along with ways to address these epidemics. Through various interactive class exercises and discussions, you’ll master the skills necessary to be an effective health board member.

T O P I C S   I N C L U D E
Responsibilities and Functions of the Board
  • Defining goals and objectives
  • Developing and implementing policy
  • Evaluating program performance
  • Developing standards for the executive director
Board Member Liability
  • Standard rules of liability
  • Compensation
  • Use of organization’s funds
Liability Coverage Under the Federal Tort Claims Act
  • Indian Self-Determination Act amendments (P.L. 100-472)
  • Suits by non-Indians
  • Tail liability coverage
Ethical Issues
  • Responsibility to the community
  • Determining and disclosing conflicts of interest
  • Nepotism
Budgeting
  • The budgeting process
  • Types of budgets
  • Performance-based budgeting
  • Performance measures
Contracting Issues
  • Provision under P.L. 93-638 and 100-472
  • Buy Indian Act provisions
  • Tribal resolutions
  • Multi-tribe programs
  • Program divisibility
Governing Documents
  • Constitution and bylaws
  • Enumerated powers
  • Election, appointment and removal procedures
Self-Governance Compacts with Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • Legislative history
  • The compact process
  • Setting baseline measures
  • Rebudgeting authority of the tribe
  • Expanded role of health boards
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Overview of HIPAA standards
  • HIPAA compliance issues
  • Effects on departments and programs
Third-Party Reimbursements
  • The tribe as health care provider and consumer
  • Organizing for third-party reimbursement
Planning for the Needs of Your Community
  • Understanding health issues in Indian Country:
    • Diabetes
    • Drug and alcohol use
    • Traditional healing
  • Future of health care
Day-to-Day Responsibilities
  • Setting policy for program income
  • Estimating third-party income
  • Evaluating the executive director
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