BILL REQ. #: S-1010.4
|State of Washington||63rd Legislature||2013 Regular Session|
Read first time 02/05/13. Referred to Committee on Health Care .
AN ACT Relating to the health professional loan repayment and scholarship program; amending RCW 28B.115.050 and 28B.115.080; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 (1) The legislature finds that most medical
students and dental students graduate from their professional schools
with large student loan debts. Despite many of these students wanting
to practice in rural parts of the state, these debts preclude many of
these students from doing so. The health professional loan repayment
and scholarship program assists health care professionals by providing
them loan repayment and scholarship opportunities. It also benefits
the state by ensuring access to health care professionals in rural
areas of the state by tying loan repayment and scholarship plans to
agreements to practice in these areas.
(2) The legislature further finds that the recent economic downturn has severely curtailed the activities of the health professional loan repayment and scholarship program in a time when these programs are needed to ensure that people are able to access health care coverage in all parts of the state.
(3) The legislature, therefore, intends to specify that the loan repayment awards and scholarships are to be made available to medical residents and dental students who agree to work with hospitals and federally qualified health centers.
(4) The legislature further intends that the planning committee of the office of student financial assistance seek funding sources, as well as state funds, to help pay for the loan repayment and scholarship program.
Sec. 2 RCW 28B.115.050 and 2011 1st sp.s. c 11 s 206 are each
amended to read as follows:
(1) The office shall establish a planning committee to assist it in developing criteria for the selection of participants. The office shall include on the planning committee representatives of the department, the department of social and health services, appropriate representatives from health care facilities, representatives from the dental quality assurance commission, the medical quality assurance commission, provider groups, consumers, the state board for community and technical colleges, the superintendent of public instruction, and other appropriate public and private agencies and organizations. The criteria may require that some of the participants meet the definition of "needy student" under RCW 28B.92.030.
(2) The planning committee must seek private funding and grant opportunities to supplement state funds provided for the health professional loan repayment and scholarship program.
Sec. 3 RCW 28B.115.080 and 2011 1st sp.s. c 11 s 208 are each
amended to read as follows:
After June 1, 1992,)) The office, in consultation with the
department and the department of social and health services, shall:
(1) Establish the annual award amount for each credentialed health care profession which shall be based upon an assessment of reasonable annual eligible expenses involved in training and education for each credentialed health care profession. The annual award amount may be established at a level less than annual eligible expenses. The annual award amount shall be established by the office for each eligible health profession. The awards shall not be paid for more than a maximum of five years per individual;
(2) Determine any scholarship awards for prospective physicians in such a manner to require the recipients declare an interest in serving in rural areas of the state of Washington. Preference for scholarships shall be given to students who reside in a rural physician shortage area or a nonshortage rural area of the state prior to admission to the eligible education and training program in medicine. Highest preference shall be given to students seeking admission who are recommended by sponsoring communities and who declare the intent of serving as a physician in a rural area. The office may require the sponsoring community located in a nonshortage rural area to financially contribute to the eligible expenses of a medical student if the student will serve in the nonshortage rural area;
(3) Determine any loan repayment awards or scholarships available for medical students who agree to serve a residency in a rural physician shortage area or a nonshortage rural area of the state. The planning committee in RCW 28B.115.050 must establish the required service obligation in the rural area to retain eligibility for the loan repayment award and work with hospitals in these areas to develop residency opportunities;
(4) Determine any scholarship awards for prospective dentists in such a manner to require the recipients to declare an interest in serving in rural areas of the state of Washington. Preference for scholarships must be given to students who reside in an area served by federally qualified health centers prior to admission to the eligible education and training program in dentistry. Highest preference must be given to students seeking admission who are recommended by sponsoring communities and who declare the intent of serving as a dentist for a federally qualified health center;
(5) Determine any loan repayment awards for recent dental graduates who practice at a federally qualified health center after graduation. The planning committee in RCW 28B.115.050 must establish the required service obligation in the federally qualified health center to retain eligibility for the loan repayment award;
(6) Establish the required service obligation for each credentialed health care profession, which shall be no less than three years or no more than five years. The required service obligation may be based upon the amount of the scholarship or loan repayment award such that higher awards involve longer service obligations on behalf of the participant;
(4))) (7) Determine eligible education and training programs for
purposes of the scholarship portion of the program;
(5))) (8) Honor loan repayment and scholarship contract terms
negotiated between the office and participants prior to May 21, 1991,
concerning loan repayment and scholarship award amounts and service
obligations authorized under this chapter (( 28B.115, 28B.104,)) or
chapter 70.180 RCW.