Tribal Healthcare Top Issues in 2023

Tribal Healthcare Top Issues in 2023

February 22, 2023

In 2023, Tribal leaders in the healthcare industry have continued to face challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic. While government has progressed with de-escalating public emergency statuses, the health crisis has continued to impact healthcare operations, accounting, and applicable funding regulations and standards. REDW Principal Chris Tyhurst is providing a quick roundup of top issues that Tribal Healthcare leaders will need to keep top-of-mind this year.

What Are the Top 3 Issues Affecting Tribal Healthcare in 2023?

1. New Lease Accounting Standards

After several delays, the new lease accounting standard (GASB 87 or ASC 842) is now effective for all entities. New lease accounting standards in 2023 can have a significant impact on your organization’s finances as Tribal hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers often lease medical equipment and enter complex contracts that contain both lease and non-lease provisions.

In addition, GASB 96 is right around the corner. This new standard is similar to the lease standard, but applies to subscription – based information technology arrangements, which are becoming increasingly more common.

2. Annual Funding Agreements and ARPA Funds

Many Tribal healthcare organizations received significant funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through their I.H.S. Annual Funding Agreements. While this funding doesn’t expire and is fairly flexible as to its use, some of these funds have restrictions, and must be used for activities such as contact tracing, telehealth, and vaccines, to name a few. It’s important for Tribal healthcare organizations to carefully plan and account for the use of these funds, especially as the pandemic wanes and COVID-specific activities decrease.

3. Cybersecurity for Tribal Healthcare Organizations

The Tribal healthcare industry is increasingly reliant on technology to store and manage patient data and financial information, making it a prime target for cyberattacks. Implementing a robust cybersecurity program is crucial to protect sensitive patient information, maintain the integrity of medical systems, and ensure continuity of care.

In addition to safeguarding against data breaches and system failures, a strong cybersecurity program can also help Tribal healthcare organizations comply with regulations such as HIPAA. Having a strong cybersecurity program in place can help Tribal healthcare organizations avoid costly fines and reputational damage that can result from a data breach. The cost of mitigating a security breach can be significant, including expenses related to forensic investigations, legal fees, and public relations efforts to manage the fallout. Tribal healthcare organizations may also face cost associated with lost productivity and revenue due to system downtime or loss of patient trust. Overall, investing in a comprehensive cybersecurity program is essential for ensuring the safety and security of both patients and Tribal healthcare organizations, as well as minimizing the financial impact of a potential security breach.

Protect your organization from cyberthreats and read more about Building a Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness, for Tribal Employers.


Learn more about REDW’s services in Cybersecurity, from risk assessment, to team training, HIPAA/HITRUST security certification, and building a cybersecurity program from the ground up. We’re here to make this easier.

We Welcome Your Questions

Our team brings extensive industry knowledge and decades of work with Tribes and Tribal healthcare organizations to help you meet compliance requirements. Contact Chris Tyhurst for any questions or for expert perspective on federal regulations and important operational processes.

Want more expert insights for Tribal Nations? Subscribe to the monthly Insight in Indian Country Newsletter

Insights & Upcoming Events

Recent Posts