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VA, Indian Health Service Renew Partnership to Boost Native American/Alaskan Health Care Access

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has renewed its partnership with the Indian Health Service to boost the health care access of American Indian and Alaska Native veterans.

The partnership aims to improve health care quality for applicable veterans, streamline health care enrollment, integrate electronic health records and expand access through various resource sharing methods, VA said Tuesday.

The department has so far established reimbursement agreements, extended outpatient pharmacy services and launched a rural health care navigator program in support of AI/AN veterans.

“VA and IHS leadership engaged key tribal stakeholders during 90-day tribal consultation sessions in late 2020 and early 2021 to gain insights and feedback on how both agencies can better serve these historically marginalized patient populations,” said Thomas Klobucar, executive director of the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Rural Health.