The D.C. Circuit has refused the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s bid to have the full court rehear a panel’s decision that the Indian Health Service wasn’t required to cover contract support costs for services paid for by insurers under the tribe’s health care contract.
The tribe, located in Washington state, had asked the court to rehear en banc a circuit panel’s April decision denying the costs, saying that the tribe should receive reimbursement for all its administrative and overhead outlay, regardless of whether those costs are connected with services funded by IHS or with third-party income that helps fund the tribe’s health programs.
The panel ruled that the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, which authorizes tribes to operate health care and other programs under contract with federal agencies, did not require the IHS to pay for the Swinomish health program’s contract support costs, or CSC, tied to payments from sources outside the agency.
The law limits CSC to costs specific to the contract between a federal agency and a tribe, such as the Swinomish tribe’s contract with the IHS to provide health services, and that does not extend to the costs associated with insurance income, the panel said.