Health | Law

Ponca Tribe sues Nebraska for ignoring license provision of IHCIA





The Ponca Tribe is suing the state of Nebraska for ignoring a new provision of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

Congress reauthorized IHCIA as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Under the new law, "licensed health professionals employed by a tribal health program shall be exempt, if licensed in any state, from the licensing requirements of the state in which the tribal health program performs the services" if they perform the services under a self-determination compact or contract.

The tribe's doctor, Rosa M. Huguet, is licensed in Puerto Rico. But the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services refuses to recognize her ability to practice in the state.

"Although the tribe has continuously attempted to resolve this matter with the defendants, defendants have blatantly ignored federal law ... and proceeded to act in contravention of their obligation to follow and comply with federal law regardless of conflicting state law," the tribe said in its lawsuit, the Associated Press reported.

Get the Story:
Ponca Tribe sues Nebraska officials, saying state refuses to recognize tribal clinic doctor (AP 6/30)

Indian Health Care Improvement Act:
S.1790 | H.R.2708