May 06, 2019

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Legislation to Address Health Disparities for Native Americans in Urban Areas

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored the bicameral Urban Indian Health Parity Act, legislation to address Medicaid reimbursement inequity for Urban Indian Health Programs that serve Native patients.

“Native American Nevadans deserve high-quality, affordable health care regardless of where they live. Yet, Native people living outside tribal lands often face additional barriers to access comprehensive, culturally competent medical services. This legislation would ensure Native families in urban areas like Reno receive equal access to treatment. I’ll keep fighting in the Senate to improve health care for our Native communities and all Nevadans.”


The Indian Health Service (IHS) is the primary federal agency responsible for providing health care to American Indian and Alaska Natives through federally operated facilities that provide services directly on reservation lands, Tribally run facilities, and urban Indian nonprofit facilities.

The federal government covers a greater portion of Medicaid costs for patients served at Federally and Tribally operated IHS facilities than urban Indian health facilities. This bill would balance the scales by providing parity in federal reimbursement rates for all three types of facilities. There are approximately 43 urban Indian health facilities in 19 states across the country.