Loan Repayment and Grants

There are a variety of funding opportunities for clinicians working in rural and underserved areas in Idaho, as well as federal support for critical access hospitals and state funds to increase access to primary care services for non-profit and governmental entities.

State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

SLRP is a multi-discipline, state-based loan repayment program for nurses, clinicians, and physicians working in federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. Loan repayment is provided through a federal grant. Participating sites must implement a sliding fee scale for low-income and uninsured patients and accept Medicare and Medicaid. Recipients may receive loan repayment awards up to $25,000 per year. A service obligation is required; full-time practitioners are required to fulfill a two-year service obligation. Sites must submit annual reports during the funding period. Participants currently receiving loan repayment and fulfilling a service obligation are not eligible.

SLRP is currently not in an open application period. The next open application cycle is anticipated to be after 2025. To receive updates and notice of the next open application cycle, please email to be added to the email notification list.  

Rural Nursing Loan Repayment Program (RNLR)

The Rural Nursing Loan Repayment Program (RNLR) is a state-based program for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses practicing direct care in rural and underserved areas in Idaho. All eligible nurses must be located in an eligible area within Idaho. 

These nurses may be eligible to apply for funds to pay for qualified nursing education debts. Qualified nurses may receive up to $25,000 over three years, and awards will not exceed the qualified nursing education debt incurred by the recipient. The application cycle opens on October 1 of each year and ends on November 30 of the same year. RNLR award decisions are made annually by the Rural Nursing Loan Repayment Review Board and applicants will be notified no later than February 15th of their award status.


Rural Physician Incentive Program (RPIP)

RPIP provides loan repayment for qualifying physicians serving Health Professional 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 $100,000 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. The application cycle begins on July 1 of each year and ends on August 30 of that same year.

RPIP & RHCAP Grant Review Board information
Rural Health Care Access Program (RHCAP)

(RHCAP) exists to assist rural and underserved Idaho communities in improving access to primary medical and dental health care. RHCAP awards are limited to a maximum of $35,000 for a one-year funding cycle. The application period is from July 1 - August 30 every year and for each 8-month project period, projects must be initiated and completed between November 1 and June 30. Proposed projects are required to address needs in areas designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and Medically Underserved Areas (MUA). Applicants may submit grant proposals that improve access to primary care and/or dental health services in any of the three assistance categories (Idaho Code 39-5906), including, community development, telehealth, and other (such as recruitment and retention).

Idaho statute
Read the Idaho statute that establishes the Joint Health Care Access and Physician Incentive Program Grant Review Board.
Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program

The Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care develops, evaluates, and administers this federal program that provides states the opportunity to strengthen rural health care through a holistic approach.

The Idaho Flex Program offers annual subgrant opportunities up to $20,000 to critical access hospitals in Idaho and rural EMS in the flex grant year (September - August). 

  • Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP)
  • In-depth quality improvement assessment and action plan
  • In-depth financial and operational assessment and action plan
  • Chargemaster or revenue cycle analysis
  • Community Health EMS (CHEMS)
Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant (SHIP) Program

The Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care administers this federally funded grant program to provide assistance to qualifying hospitals with 49 beds or fewer. 

The Idaho SHIP program offers annual subgrant opportunities up to $11,000 to Idaho critical access hospitals in the SHIP grant year (June - May). 

  • Value-based purchasing (improving data collection activities to facilitate reporting to Hospital Compare
  • Accountable care organizations or shared savings (improving quality outcomes; activities that support quality improvement)
  • Payment bundling and prospective payment systems (PPS) (building accountability across the continuum of care and maintaining accurate PPS billing and coding)
Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care

450 W State Street - 4th Floor
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, 83720-0036
United States