The request includes funds necessary to maintain the current level of services provided as well as funds to expand, within current program authority, access to care and address tribal contract support costs and essential health information technology activities.

The budget request includes an increase of $167 million to cover increased costs associated with pay raises, population growth, inflation, and staffing and operating costs for new/expanded facilities.

The President’s proposal also requests an increase of $117 million in contract health service funds, which are used to purchase health care that IHS is unable to provide through its own network. A portion of the total amount will be set aside for catastrophic or high-cost cases.

The IHS budget includes an increase of $104.4 million for contract support costs to assist tribes in administrative functions necessary to successfully manage health programs they compact or contract for under the authority of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. These funds will address existing shortfalls associated with ongoing tribal contracts and compacts.

Also included in the proposed budget is an additional $16.3 million to help expand the IHS Health Information Technology (HIT) system to meet additional federal reporting requirements and provide essential HIT services to patients, providers, and communities. Increasing clinical needs have led to increased spending on HIT to ensure compliance with federal mandates, increase security, improve infrastructure, and continue development and deployment of the electronic health record in over 200 sites.