WSR 03-06-050

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


[ Filed February 28, 2003, 11:33 a.m. ]

Date of Adoption: February 26, 2003.

Purpose: Amends WAC 246-562-020 to increase the availability of specialist waivers from 25% to 50% of total waivers each program year; and makes all unused waivers as of June 1 of each year available to both specialists and primary care physicians.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 246-562-020.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 70.185 RCW.

Other Authority: Public Law 107-273.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.

Reasons for this Finding: Public Law 107-273, passed as HR 2215 on November 2, 2002. Recent direction for implementation from the United States Department of State makes it necessary for the Department of Health to immediately change the rules to not adversely impact applications already in process.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

February 28, 2003

M. C. Selecky

Secretary

OTS-6230.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-15-082, filed 7/19/00, effective 8/19/00)

WAC 246-562-020   Authority to sponsor visa waivers.   (1) The department of health may assist communities to recruit and retain physicians, or other health care professionals, as directed in chapter 70.185 RCW, by exercising an option provided in federal law, 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1184(l) as amended by Public Law 107-273 and 22 C.F.R. 514.44(e). This option allows the department of health to sponsor a limited number of visa waivers each federal fiscal year if certain conditions are met.

(2) The department may acknowledge sponsorship proposed by federal agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture.

(3) The department may carry out a visa waiver program, or, in the event of resource limitations or other considerations, may discontinue the program. Purposes of the program are:

(a) To increase the availability of physician services in existing federally designated shortage areas for health care facilities that have long standing vacancies;

(b) To improve access to physician services for communities and specific under-served populations that are having difficulty finding physician services;

(c) To serve Washington communities which have identified a physician currently holding a J-1 visa as an ideal candidate to meet the community's need for primary health care services or specialist services as allowed by WAC 246-562-080.

(4) The department may only sponsor a visa waiver request when:

(a) The application contains all of the required information and documentation;

(b) The application meets the criteria contained in chapter 246-562 WAC.

(5) The department will limit its activities:

(a) Prior to submission of an application, the department may provide information on preparing a complete application;

(b) For applicants that have benefited from department sponsorship previously, the applicant's history of compliance will be a consideration in future sponsorship decisions;

(c) Because the number of sponsorships the department may provide is limited, and because the number of shortage areas is great, sponsorship will be limited. In any single program year, a health care facility in any one designated health professional shortage area or medically underserved area:

(i) Will not be allotted more than two sponsorships; and

(ii) Will not be allotted more than one specialist sponsorship as allowed by WAC 246-562-080(((4))) (5);

(d) In any given program year ((seventy-five)) fifty percent of federally allocated sponsorships will be allotted for primary care physicians((. Twenty-five)) and fifty percent of federally allocated sponsorships will be allotted for specialists through May 31. Any waiver sponsorships that remain unfilled on June 1 of each program year will be available to both primary care physicians and specialists consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 70.185 RCW. 00-15-082, 246-562-020, filed 7/19/00, effective 8/19/00; 98-20-067, 246-562-020, filed 10/2/98, effective 11/2/98.]

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