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Rural Health Care Access and Physician Incentive Program (RHCAP/RPIP)

The Rural Health Care Access Program (RHCAP) helps rural Idaho communities improve access to primary medical and dental health care through grants assistance. "Improving access to health care" includes removing barriers that prevent people from obtaining healthcare, strengthening healthcare systems, and developing partnerships to better serve communities. Grants of up to $35,000 per year for a maximum of one year may be awarded to eligible entities serving areas designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas or Medically Underserved Areas. Applicants may submit grant proposals that improve access to health care in any of the three assistance categories:
  • Telehealth projects

  • Community development projects

  • Other

Applicants must be a non-profit organization registered with the Idaho secretary of state or government organization. Individuals may not apply for RHCAP funds.

The Rural Physician Incentive Program (RPIP) was successfully transitioned from the Office of the State Board of Education to the Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care. RPIP provides loan repayment for qualifying physicians serving federally-designated shortage areas in Idaho. The program is focused on physicians providing primary care medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. RPIP is funded by fees assessed to physicians attending the University of Washington and University of Utah medical schools in state-supported seats. Physicians may receive a maximum of $50,000 over a four year period toward their academic debt.  Preference is given to eligible physicians who paid into the RPIP fund, however, funding is not limited to these candidates. RPIP award decisions are made by the Health Care Access and Physician Incentive Grant Review Board. Currently, ten physicians are receiving loan repayment through the program. 

Idaho Statute, Title 39: Health & Safety, Chapter 59
Primary Care Eligible Areas
Dental Eligible Areas
Mental Health Eligible Areas

State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

SLRP is a multi-discipline, state-based loan repayment program for clinicians and physicians working in federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. The loan repayment is provided through a federal grant and every award must be matched $1 to $1 with funds provided by the clinician’s employer. Participating sites must implement a sliding fee scale for low income and uninsured patients and accept Medicare and Medicaid. Loan repayment awards can range from $10,000-$25,000 per year for two years, depending on the discipline and matching contribution. A full-time, two-year service obligation is required and sites must submit biannual reports during the funding period. Participants currently receiving loan repayment and fulfilling a service obligation are not eligible.

SLRP Frequently Asked Questions

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A: The dual application process requires the submission of an application by the healthcare employment site and the clinician seeking the loan repayment award. The employment site must be a public or nonprofit entity, implement a sliding fee scale for low income and uninsured patients, accept Medicare and Medicaid, and assure the availability of $1 : $1 matching funds. The clinician must agree to a full-time two-year service obligation, submit proof of medical education debt, and agree to repayment provisions, if the two-year service term is not completed.

A: Eligible facilities must be public or nonprofit entities located in federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas and include the following:

·         Community and Migrant Health Centers

·         Federally Qualified Health Centers and Look-a-Likes

·         Certified Rural Health Clinics

·         Critical Access Hospitals (with affiliated outpatient clinic)

·         State and Federal Prisons

·         Long-Term Care Facilities

·         State or County Health Department Clinics

·         State Mental Health Facilities

·         Community Mental Health Facilities

·         Indian Health Service Practice Sites

·         Tribal/638 Health Clinics

·        Community Outpatient Clinics


A: Eligible primary care, mental health, and dental health disciplines are defined in the table below. The award amount varies based on discipline and the employer matching contribution. Eligible sites providing the match can request any level within the required minimum and maximum range.

Idaho SLRP Eligible Disciplines

All service obligations are full-time for two years with a competitive opportunity to renew for an additional two years.

 

Federal SLRP award per year

Practice site donation $1:$1 match per year

Total loan repayment two years

Primary Care 

MD*

$5,000-$12,500

$5,000-$12,500

$20,000-$50,000

DO*

$5,000-$12,500

$5,000-$12,500

$20,000-$50,000

OB/GYN*

$5,000-$12,500

$5,000-$12,500

$20,000-$50,000

Pediatrician*

$5,000-$12,500

$5,000-$12,500

$20,000-$50,000

Internal Medicine*

$5,000-$12,500

$5,000-$12,500

$20,000-$50,000

NP

$5,000-$7,500

$5,000-$7,500

$20,000-$30,000

PA

$5,000-$7,500

$5,000-$7,500

$20,000-$30,000

CNM

$5,000-$7,500

$5,000-$7,500

$20,000-$30,000

PharmD

$5,000-$7,500

$5,000-$7,500

$20,000-$30,000

Mental Health 

Psychiatrist *

$5,000-$12,500

$5,000-$12,500

$20,000-$50,000

Psychologist

$5,000-$7,500

$5,000-$7,500

$20,000-$30,000

NP

$5,000-$7,500

$5,000-$7,500

$20,000-$30,000

PA

$5,000-$7,500

$5,000-$7,500

$20,000-$30,000

Dental 

DD

$5,000-$12,500

$5,000-$12,500

$20,000-$50,000

PD

$5,000-$12,500

$5,000-$12,500

$20,000-$50,000

RDH

$5,000-$7,500

$5,000-$7,500

$20,000-$30,000

* indicates high priority

 

A: The 2014 SLRP application cycle for sites and clinicians will begin September 5, 2014, and close on November 5, 2014. Visit www.ruralhealth.dhw.idaho.gov for information and an application.

A: Awards will be established under contract with the healthcare employer providing the match.  Payments are made to the site in two equal annual installments upon completion of each year of service. The Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care (BRH-PC) will establish a contract with the employment site and require an employment agreement between the clinician and employer for the two year SLRP service obligation. The required matching donation from the employer must be received by the BRH-PC when the SLRP contract is established.

A: A qualified education loan eligible for repayment means a government, commercial, or foundation loan for actual costs paid for tuition, reasonable education expenses, and reasonable living expenses related to the graduate or undergraduate education of a healthcare professional.  Eligible loans must be directly related to the degree under which you will be completing your service obligation.

A:  The dual application process requires the submission of an application by the healthcare employment site and the clinician seeking the loan repayment award. The BRH-PC will review all applications for eligibility and program requirements. Clinician funding priorities during this federal grant cycle include primary care physicians and psychiatrists. Site funding priorities include Critical Access Hospitals and State Mental Hospitals. Final review and decision-making will be made by the Health Care Access and Physician Incentive Program joint board.  

A: SLRP participants are required to complete a two-year service obligation and there are substantial default provisions for breach of service.

A: Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care

Phone: (208) 334-0669

Email: RuralHealth@dhw.idaho.gov

A: The SLRP loan repayment is exempt from state and federal income taxes.  

A: SLRP participants are in default if they do not complete their two year service obligation at an approved site in accordance with their SLRP contract, or otherwise fail to comply with the terms of the contract. A SLRP recipient experiencing extenuating circumstances requiring absences that exceed seven weeks per service year are required to request a suspension of service to avoid default. A written suspension of service request must be submitted to the BRH-PC by the recipient with the required documentation. Allowable suspensions of service include:

  • military training

  • military deployment

  • close of business

  • medical leave

Each request must include:

  • Reason for suspension of service request

  • Expected date of return

  • Employer letter of support

  • Medical justification

  • Letter of deployment  or activation

The Idaho BRH-PC will provide a recommendation for each suspension of service request to the Health Care Access and Physician Incentive Program joint board. This board will determine a final decision for each request and notify the SLRP participant and site.

If a participant fails to complete their service obligation the BRH-PC will implement the breach of contract policy. This policy requires recipients to reimburse the BRH-PC for the remainder of the service obligation and includes the following contract provisions:

(A) The amount paid to the participant for any period not served;

(B) The number of months not served, multiplied by $7,500; and

(C) Interest on (A) and (B).

A: Yes. For additional opportunities, please see:  www.ruralhealth.dhw.idaho.gov.

A: The Idaho BRH-PC will conduct site visits with 100% of SLRP recipients during the obligation period. During the site visit, BRH-PC staff will review the loan repayment participant reports, practice site policies, and service obligation dates to ensure the site and participant(s) are meeting SLRP’s on-going eligibility requirements.

The Idaho BRH-PC will also require program sites and participants to complete six month service site monitoring reports; which will be utilized to ensure sites and participants are in compliance with SLRP policies and guidelines. The service site monitoring reports are required annually on February 28 and August 31 during the two-year obligation period. This report requires demographic and discipline data to ensure site validity and continued eligibility.

A: “Full-time” service is defined as a minimum of 40 hours per week for a minimum 45 weeks per year.