CMS ITU Training Event

Navajo Nation Virtual Trainings | (March 20 – 29, 2023)


In partnership with Indian Health Service (IHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to helping IHS, Tribal Health Programs, and Urban Indian Programs (ITU) to maximize their ability to access third party resources. To meet this objective, CMS, in partnership with the States, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and IHS, provides training to patient benefits advocates on the programs and benefits available through Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The CMS Division of Tribal Affairs (DTA), in collaboration with the IHS Navajo Area, invite you to the 2023 CMS Outreach & Education Event. 

Target Audience

  • Business Office Staff
  • Benefits Coordinators
  • Patient Registration Staff
  • Health Information Management staff
  • Purchased/Referred Care staff

Topics at a Glance

  • CMS Tribal Affairs Updates
  • Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • State-Administered Programs
  • Clinical Documentation Improvement
  • Revenue Cycle overview
  • Social Security, Veterans Affairs and much more…

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

You will receive 1 CEU from AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) for each webinar you attend within the virtual training series.  You will need to complete the evaluation form sent within 24 hours of completing the webinar.  Upon completion of the evaluation form you will be sent an email with your CEU certificates attached.

PLEASE NOTE:  You will need to participate in the full webinar and not log off early to receive the CEU certificate. You will be sent an online evaluation form to complete, your feedback is important to help us improve. 

Division of Tribal Affairs

MONDAY, MARCH 20 (11:00 AM — 12:30 PM ET)

Beverly Lofton – CMS Division of Tribal Affairs

Outreach and Education

MONDAY, MARCH 20 (4:00 PM — 5:30 PM ET)

Kristen Bitsuie – National Indian Health Board 

Medicare Updates

TUESDAY, MARCH 21 (11:00 AM — 12:30 PM ET)

Dickon Chan – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Social SecurityAdministration

TUESDAY, MARCH 21 (4:00 PM — 5:30 PM ET)

Rhonda Romero — Social Security Administration

General Medicaid Updates

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 (11:00 AM — 12:30 PM ET)

Cynthia Lemesh – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Office of Inspector General

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 (4:00 PM — 5:30 PM ET)

Special Agent Lauren Hanover – Office of Inspector General 

Colorado Medicaid Updates

THURSDAY, MARCH 23 (11:00 AM — 12:30 PM ET)

Brooke Greenky  – Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing
Bre Benbenek – Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing

New Mexico/Utah Medicaid

THURSDAY, MARCH 23 (4:00 PM — 5:30 PM ET)

Theresa Belanger — New Mexico Human Services Department
Charles Canada — New Mexico Human Services Department
Meelin Duran — Western Sky Community Care
Julia Platero — Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Mexico
Loren Allison — Presbyterian Health Plan
Jeremy Taylor — Utah Department of Health
Gina Boren — Utah Department of Health


MONDAY, MARCH 27 (11:00 AM — 12:30 PM ET)

Terri Kelewood — Indian Health Service

Patient Registration

MONDAY, MARCH 27 (4:00 PM — 5:30 PM ET)

Fawnia Franklin — Indian Health Service

Coding Part 1

TUESDAY, MARCH 28 (11:00 AM — 12:30 PM ET)

Christine Pfeifer – McManis & Monsalve Associates

Coding Part 2

TUESDAY, MARCH 28 (4:00 PM — 5:30 PM ET)

Christine Pfeifer – McManis & Monsalve Associates

Coding Part 3

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29 (11:00 AM — 12:30 PM ET)

Christine Pfeifer – McManis & Monsalve Associates


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29 (4:00 PM — 5:30 PM ET)

Christine Holden – Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)
Alex Demyan – Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)
Ewaryst Jedrasik – Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)
Brandon Ruiz – Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)

Webinar Format

The webinar is structured with an introduction, presentations, and an audience Q&A session. Please submit questions or comments through the Zoom chat feature. The session moderator will verbally relay all audience questions to the presenter.  Please note, we will answer as many questions as time permits. Unanswered questions will be addressed in a follow-up email after the webinar.

If there are any issues or problems during the webinar, you can contact staff/moderator using the onscreen chat feature or by emailing Octane at


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QUESTION: What if I need additional support?
ANSWER: Please email cmsitutrainings@octanepublicrelations.comfor additional support.
For additional questions, please visit:


Cynthia Lemesh
CMS, Native American Contact

Beverly Lofton
CMS Division of Tribal Affairs/CAHPG/CMCS

Marion Kelly-Jim
Navajo Area Indian Health Service



Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Important website links to American Indian and Alaska Native Resources

The CMS Division of Tribal Affairs serves as the point of contact on Indian health issues and provides ongoing support to CMS components regarding Indian health implications and Tribal perspectives. CMS Tribal Affairs serves as a liaison to external partners such as federal agencies in HHS, including IHS, Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian health programs, and national Indian organizations.


CMS Tribal Affairs website is a resource for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), Tribal organizations, and other Federal agencies on Tribal Consultation, the Affordable Care Act, All Tribes’ Calls, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Long Term Services & Supports Technical Assistance Center, Outreach & Education resources, StateTribal Relations, Trainings, and How to Order Tribal Products.



    CMS Tribal Affairs posts important information like Save the Date notices for webinars and All Tribes’ Calls, new fact sheets and brochures, grant opportunities, or updates on CMS Indian health policies.


    CMS Tribal Affairs produces outreach and education resources to increase awareness and understanding of new health insurance benefits available to AI/ANs, as well as special provisions available to Tribal members and their families because of the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The resources include video & radio products, brochures, posters, training materials, and webinars. Many of these materials were developed in collaboration with HHS, IHS, CMS Tribal Technical Advisory Group, and national Indian organizations. Resources can be downloaded from this page or ordered from the CMS warehouse on the Tribal Products Ordering Page.


    CMS Tribal Affairs produces outreach and education resources that are available for download from the website or ordered for free from the CMS warehouse on the Tribal Products Ordering Page. This link takes you to instructions on how to order CMS Tribal Affairs products.


    Each month CMS produces newspaper articles and corresponding public service announcements (PSA) that feature a different topic or message. The articles and messages are featured in Tribal newspapers and on Tribal radio stations. The radio PSAs are translated into five native languages: English, Navajo, Lakota, Ojibwe, Yupik, and Zuni. This link takes you to the YouTube page with all the radio PSAs. To view the monthly drop-in ‘news ads,” visit CMS Tribal Affairs Outreach and Education Resources page.


    CMS Tribal Affairs partners with IHS, the Office of the Inspector General, the Social Security Administration, the Veteran’s Health Administration, and State Medicaid Agencies to conduct face to face trainings to provide AI/AN beneficiary advocates, benefits coordinators, providers, beneficiaries, and Tribal leaders with information about CMS programs including eligibility and benefits. This link takes you to the CMS ITU training webpage where you can register for trainings online. CMS also holds webinars to present information from subject matter experts on CMS related issues relevant to IHS, Tribes, urban programs, and AI/AN beneficiaries.


    CMS, IHS, and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) have a joint technical assistance effort to support the development of LTSS in Indian Country. The purpose of this effort is to share knowledge and promising practices and build an ongoing dialogue among tribal, IHS, and Urban Indian health programs engaged in LTSS delivery for AI/ANs.





This is the Marketplace website with information for assisters and outreach partners.



    The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a State-Federal program offering free or low-cost health coverage for eligible children and other family members. There are special protections for AI/ANs enrolled in CHIP. For more information, visit,


    Medicaid is a State-Federal program that offers health insurance to eligible individuals. There are special protections for AI/ANs enrolled in Medicaid, such as no cost-sharing. Visit the Indian Health & Medicaid webpage for more information about the special protections for AI/ANs enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP.



    The Medicare Learning Network offers several learning opportunities, some of which can be taken for credit. This site has links to all the different Medicare Learning Products.


    Novitas “Ask the Contractor” calls are available for any facility billing for Medicare services. Participants must visit the Novitas website and set up an account on their Learning Website to receive information about the calls.


  • MACRA and the Quality Payment Program
    The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is bipartisan federal legislation signed into law on April 16, 2015, establishes a new way to pay physicians for caring for Medicare beneficiaries. For more information on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) visit:


    The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, requires the removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.



    Tribal Self Governance (SGCE) is a Tribally-based Communication & Education Consortium that focuses on what Self-Governance means to Tribes, defining and exploring relationships, and the key policy provisions and intent of the Self-Governance statutes.




Blue Cross/Blue Shield Documents

We pledge to put patients first in all of our programs – Medicaid, Medicare, and the Health Insurance Exchanges. To do this, we must empower patients to work with their doctors and make health care decisions that are best for them.