Frequently Asked Questions

Clinic and Contract Health FAQ's:

Q. What is Contract Health Services?

Contract Health Services (CHS) provides funding for referred medical services not directly

available at the KIC Tribal Health Clinic.  Due to limited funding there are policies

and procedures that must be followed.

Q. What are Alternate Resources?

Alternate Resources are other payor sources such as Medicare, Medicaid, private health

insurance, workers’ compensation, automobile insurance, etc.

Q. Do I have to apply for Alternate Health Resources?

Yes. Per federal regulations CHS is the payor of last resort. All alternate health resources that a

patient has available or may be eligible for must be applied to before a claim will be considered

for payment by CHS. (Federal regulation 42 C.F.R. 136.61).CHS will not consider your claims for payment if you do not apply for AHR or complete the application process. The cost of your medical services will be your financial responsibility.

Q. Is payment guaranteed just because the triage nurse recommended I go to the Emergency Room? 

No. Recommendations made by the Triage Nurse are not a guarantee of payment, they are recommendations for treatment. CHS reviews every referral according to Federal regulations and CHS policy in order to determine authorization for payment. Patients must comply with screening for alternate health resources and other CHS policies.

Q. Will KIC CHS pay for my meals, lodging and my way back to Ketchikan if I accompany family/friend on the medivac?

No. If a patient is transported by air ambulance, no additional escort will be authorized, (the air

ambulance medical staff is considered the escort). An escort may be authorized at discharge if

there is a medical need determined by the discharging doctor to escort the patient home.

Q. Do I need a referral for every medical visit that I receive outside of KIC even if it is a

follow up? 

Yes, unless the referral says for evaluation and treatment. If you require future treatment you must get another referral from your provider. 

Q. Who is responsible for ensuring that all bills, insurance information and other required

documentation is submitted to the referred provider once referral has been approved for payment?

The patients or patient’s family is responsible for submitting all required documentation such as

medical records, additional insurance information, accident questionnaire, etc. Failure to produce required documents for payment will result in CHS denying payment.

Q. If I have a medical emergency, what should I do?

During the day, please call KIC at 907-228-4900. The triage nurse will assess you over the phone and advise whether you should come into the KIC clinic or go to KGH emergency room. During the evenings and weekends, please call the KIC triage line at 1-888-635-3376. The nurse will assess you over the phone and advise whether you should go to the emergency room at KGH or come into KIC clinic the next business day.

Please remember that a recommendation to go to the emergency room at KGH by the KIC triage nurse does not guarantee payment of your medical claim.  It must be reviewed for medical appropriateness before consideration of payment is determined.

Q. When I travel to other communities and have to go to an emergency room, what do I do?
If you are in Southeast Alaska, our Memorandum of Agreement with SEARHC requires that you call both KIC and SEARHC Contract Health to leave a 72-hour notification if you want your medical bills to be considered for payment. You can call KIC at 907-228-4900 and SEARHC at 866-966-8316 to leave notification of your emergency. If you are outside of KIC and SEARHC, you must call KIC to leave a 72-hour notification.

Q. If I went to the emergency room, or to another provider outside KIC with a referral, and receive a bill, how can I get help with that?
If you get a bill from KGH or another provider, please call Contract Health Services at 228-5211.

Q.  What do I do to get a copy of my medical records?

In order to get a copy of your medical records or have them sent to another facility, you must fill out a HIPAA approved Release of Information Form.  The Medical Records team can assist you in completing this form. 

Q.  How long does it take to have my records sent? 

Regular requests can take up to 7 working days.  High priority requests are sent the next day or faxed in cases of emergencies, following HIPAA & Federal Regulations.

Q.  What would I do if I have an ethical question regarding my health care?

Contact the clinic administration department at 228-4900 or you can leave a message on our Compliance Hotline – 228-4928 and the Compliance Officer will return your call.

Q.  Where do I find the patients’ rights and responsibilities?

A list of patients’ rights and responsibilities is located in the patient handbook and posted in the waiting room areas and in patient exam rooms.

Q.  What is Informed Consent and why is it important?

  • Providers talk with all patients to explain what is to be done, risks involved, benefits and alternative treatments
  • Written consents, signed by the patient or their legal representative, are required and kept in their medical record for the following:
  • Advanced Directives
  • Use of Anesthetic
  • Conscious Sedation
  • DNR orders
  • HIV Antibody Testing
  • Immunizations
  • Sterilization Procedures
  • Photographs for non-medical use

Q.  What are advanced directives and why is it important? 

  • Definition – a document that allows you as a patient to give directions about future medical care or to select someone else to make those decisions when they cannot.  Includes living wills, durable powers of attorney, DNR orders.
  • Advance Directives are available at the 1st floor registration areas – patients are asked if they are interested in information about advance directives.
  • Your provider may answer patient’s questions and/or a social worker is available to help patients complete an advance directive.

Q.  How do I make a complaint or patient comments?

  • Comment forms are available in the lobby of the clinic.  The patient or designee either fills out the comment form or the patient may request to make a verbal comment to the Executive Assistant.  The Executive Assistant will fill out the comment, read it back to the patient, and have the patient sign the report.  If the patient is requesting a response to the comment, the form must be signed and appropriate contact information must be included. 
  • A comment form is received or collected in the locked box located in lobby
  • The Executive Assistant calls the patient or sends a letter to patient. 
  • The Executive Assistant forwards the Comment to the appropriate supervisor, provider, or the risk manager for follow up action.
  • The Health Administrator will send a final letter to the patient with a copy on file.
  • The Risk/QM Team review all patient complaints and action for appropriateness. 
  • Data are periodically examined to identify any trends in occurrences.
  • The Patient may appeal to the General Manager.

Q. If I believe my confidentiality as been violated, who should I talk to?

If you think your confidentiality has been breached you should contact the Privacy Officer, Ron Keizer at 228-4973. If the privacy officer is not available you can complete a Patient Comment form and you will be contacted regarding your concern.

Enrollment FAQ's

How do I get things started?

The first thing to do is fill out an application.  Turn it in with a copy of a state issued birth certificate.  If the birth certificate does not link the child to a member of KIC, additional documentation may be required.

 I just filled out a whole pile of paperwork downstairs, and gave them documentation.  Can’t you get it from them?

Because of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), the Clinic would not give me any information whatsoever; they won’t acknowledge that you are a patient, without your written permission.

Now that I’ve got all this done up here, I can go to the Clinic right?

Not necessarily.  If you have proof of a blood degree, CIB or enrollment card from any Federally Recognized Tribe, you can start a chart.  Depending on the length of residency.  If you have no proof of blood degree to give to the Clinic, and are relying on your pending enrollment to KIC, the process takes approximately 1 month, if documentation lines up.  However, you do not have to enroll to be seen at the Clinic.

Why did such & such program tell me I had to come see you, even when I’ve been going to the Clinic for years?

Some of the funding KIC receives is specifically for tribal members living in the service area (Revillagigedo Island except the Organized Village of Saxman).  In order to qualify for those funds, a person must meet those qualifications.

What if I don’t want to relinquish my enrollment with another tribe?

If you are enrolled elsewhere, you are still able to access Clinic services.  However, because of federal law concerning individuals “double-dipping”, you must relinquish that enrollment.  Contact your tribe for information on how to accomplish this.

How do I relinquish my enrollment with KIC?

A simple written statement from you will be required.  Please sign and date this notice.  It will go to the Council at their next regular meeting.  You will receive a copy of the signed resolution.

Can my baby/child be enrolled even if I am not?

Yes.  Lineal descendancy can reach back to grandparents or even great-grandparents.  However, you must provide birth certificates to show the jump.

What if my baby’s father’s name is not on the birth certificate?

If the child’s blood degree depends on the father’s, he may sign a notarized Paternity Statement, or DNA testing can show that he is the biological father.

My brothers and sisters are enrolled to KIC, why can’t I enroll here?

At this time, the Council is enrolling only direct descendants of the tribe.  If siblings were already on KIC’s rolls, they would have been enrolled when KIC depended on a blood degree to qualify for enrollment.  The council will not accept any form of lateral descendancy (bothers/sisters, aunts/uncles, etc.)  Lineal descendancy is parents or grandparents, even great-grandparents.

I don’t know what to put for my blood degree because my BIA card and T&H card are different.  How does KIC decide?

Tlingit/Haida Central Council recognizes only Tlingit and Haida.  If your BIA card includes any other ethnic group, Tsimshian, Yupik, etc., they won’t accept it.  They won’t take a blood degree from the BIA unless it is broken down into ethnic groups.  KIC’s blood degree is based on all identified groups and does not break down a total.

Advanced Educational Opportunities FAQ's:

Do you have to be income-eligible to receive AEO scholarship funds?

No.  Any tribal member who meets the initial eligibility criteria (completed high school or its equivalent and is enrolled in a degree program at a regionally-accredited, non-profit institution) can apply for scholarship assistance.  Awards are not based on income; however, priority will be given to students with demonstrated financial need, among other factors.

If I apply, am I guaranteed funding?

KIC’s AEO program has a limited scholarship budget.  We are unable to provide awards to every student who applies.  During the 2008-2009 academic year, KIC awarded a total of 47 student over $130,000. Generally, the highest priority is given to tribal members who maintain residency in Ketchikan, among other factors.

How does AEO determine who gets awarded?

AEO has developed an 85-point scale that will be used to prioritize which applicants receive scholarship assistance.  The point-scale awards points based on: residency (40 points), demonstrated financial need (20 points), GPA (up to 10 points), class standing/degree progress (up to 10 points), and whether or not a student has previously received an award or is a first-time freshman at the collegiate level (5 points).  Students who wish to be considered for KIC’s merit scholarship must also submit a 500-800 type written essay.

When will I be notified if I’ve been awarded a scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year?

Students will receive notification by mail no later than June 15, 2009.

How much money will I be awarded?

If you are selected as a scholarship recipient, awards will reflect your status as a full- or part- time student.  All students will be considered for our regular scholarship which awards: full-time students (12 credits or more) up to $3,000 and part-time students (3-11 credits) up to $2,000 for the entire academic year.  Award amounts are not guaranteed.  Two merit scholarship recipients will be awarded up to $5,000 (full-time status) for the academic year.

Once I’m awarded, when will you send me a check?

Scholarship checks are not sent to students.  AEO will send a scholarship check directly to your school’s financial aid office prior to the start of classes.  Upon receipt students sign a Financial Aid Certification form to verify the scholarship funds have been credited to their student accounts.

I am taking a class through the Totem Heritage Center, will the AEO scholarship pay for this?

Unfortunately, taking a course at the Totem Heritage Center for personal enrichment is not covered by our scholarship program.  Unless you are taking the course for university credit and your institution will apply those credits towards your undergraduate or graduate degree, we cannot pay for courses at the Totem Heritage Center.

Why do I have to submit the Student Aid Report Summary from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, if the scholarship does not require applicants to be income-eligible?

The Student Aid Report provides AEO with your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) which assists our office in determining whether or not you have a demonstrated financial need, which is one of the point-scale’s categories.  Even if a student does not have a demonstrated financial need, it does not mean they will not be funded.  Many students without a demonstrated financial need receive funding, as the highest priority for the scholarship program is to fund students who are permanent residents of Ketchikan.

I live in Saxman, can I still apply for the AEO scholarship?

Students who live in Saxman and are enrolled members of KIC can apply for the AEO scholarship.  Saxman students are considered non-residents and thus, will receive lower priority than residents of Ketchikan.  If a Saxman student applies for and receives scholarship assistance from KIC, they must not receive scholarship assistance through Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

I missed the May 15 deadline, can I still apply for scholarship assistance?

KIC prefers to make full academic year awards to students.  Therefore, there are limited opportunities to receive scholarship assistance after the May 15 deadline.  If a student misses the May 15 deadline and there is funding available, he/she may be awarded after the October 15 deadline for Winter/Spring academic term funding.  This exception only applies to undergraduate students.

Dental FAQ's:

Do I still have to call on the 1st of the month to make appointments?

No. Appointments are made throughout the month until all the appointments have been filled.  On the 14th of each month or closest business day, appointments will be released for the next month. This is similar to the medical appointment system

What services do you offer?

Besides routine dental services that include fillings, cleanings, extractions and root canals. We also have fee for service procedures for dentures, partials, crowns, bridges, bleaching and orthodontics.

Do you have nitrous oxide?

No. We do however offer anti-anxiety medications to ease your dental concerns.

Do I have to be Native to go to your clinic?

No. You do not have to be Alaska Native or American Indian to be seen for dental services.  Non native patients who qualify for Alaska Medicaid or Denali Kid Care can be seen during our weekly Wednesday afternoon clinics.  Please contact the clinic for further information.

Human Relations FAQ's

Is the job still open?

KIC uses both “open until filled” and “Closing date”.    This is always noted at the bottom of the job announcement.   If the job announcement has “open until filled”, then HR will forward applications and/or resumes as they are received to the appropriate Director for their review.  If there is a closing date noted, then all applications and/or resumes will be held until that closing date and then they will all be forwarded to the appropriate Director for their review and selection for interviewees.

Can I apply for “any” job?

No, KIC only accepts applications for actual job openings.  With our clinic being an accreditated facility all applications must match the position of the employee. 

Can I leave an application or resume on file with HR for any future job openings?

No, when you find a job that matches your qualifications you need to apply then.  We do not keep applications on file for when a particular job may come up. 

Why then do you say you will keep an application on file for six months?

This is for anyone who has actually applied for an open position and was not selected, this is the only time that we will keep prospective applications on file, however, it is the responsibility of the person looking for work to contact the HR department to let them know if they are interested in a particular position.  We can then find their application and submit for review.

What about drug testing?

Yes, KIC has a pre-hire drug screen policy and we also conduct random and alcohol testing each month.  Directors are notified when one of their staff is selected to send the employee for the screening.  If we have a reasonable suspicion that an employee may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we will send them to TSS for a drug screening.  This is also in KIC policies.

Where do you do the testing?

All of our pre-hire and random drug screenings are done offsite through Tongass Substance Screening.  For confidentiality purposes it is best to use an off-site facility.

What kinds of benefits does KIC offer?

Please click on the “Fringe Benefit Eligibility & Entry Information” link on this page to see the benefits information.

How does the Indian Preference work for recruitment?

Please click on the “Relevant KIC Policies” located on this page for more information.

Do all jobs require background checks and fingerprinting?

No, KIC’s Human Resources department has the policy and forms for background checking.  This is used for sensitive positions that deal directly with children, youth, and the elders.  Those types of positions will require a State of Alaska Background application form and this will include fingerprinting.  The application will be entered into the State of Alaska’s database system.  The turnaround with the State can take up to nine months to complete.  KIC uses a local company to provide the fingerprinting service.  If the position is a sensitive position, but may not deal directly with children, youth or elders, we use Employment Screening Services based in Washington.  The turnaround for ESS can be anywhere from three days to up to two weeks, depending on the information being verified.

How does the interview process go?

KIC policy states that there should be a panel of three interviewees.  All applicants are asked the same series of interview questions and the answers are then scored and then totaled up.  References will be checked on the applicant and those will be included in the final decision process by the appropriate Department Director.  Once an applicant has been selected and all reference checking is done and the appropriate recruitment paperwork is complete and all signatures have been secured by management, then and only then, will a job offer be made.  This offer will be contingent upon successful completion of a pre-hire drug screen.