Health Professionals

The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program encourages licensed primary care health professionals to serve in Washington's critical shortage areas. The program provides financial assistance through either conditional scholarships or loan repayment. The loan repayment portion of the program provides educational repayment assistance to licensed primary care health professionals. Applicants agree to provide primary care health care in rural or underserved urban areas with designated shortages.

In 2014, approximately 100 health professionals worked in underserved areas of Washington as a result of this program. Since 1990, the program has funded over 1,000 professionals serving in 38 Washington counties. Further, according to a recent national survey, over 80 percent of the recipient responders anticipate remaining in their health professional shortage service site for two additional years following their service term.

Two programs provide educational loan repayment assistance (click on table to the right for more information): 

  1. The Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) uses matching federal grant funds for awards.
  2. The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) uses state dollars only for awards.

 

Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP
Awards use federal funds matched with state dollars Awards use state funds only
Maximum $70,000 award Maximum $75,000 award
Minimum two-year service obligation Minimum three-year service obligation
Minimum 40 hour work week Minimum 24 hour work week (service obligation period prorated to three-year equivalency
Default penalty - months not served x $7,500 per month plus interest (minimum of $31,000 payback) Default penalty - funds disbursed doubled plus interest
Maximum 35.7 days per contract year allowed in leave away from clinic/site for holidays, sick leave, vacation, etc. Maximum 40 days per contract year allowed in leave away from clinic/site for holidays, sick leave, vacation, etc.
Eligible sites: See Provider Reference Guide for full details, but must have a federal Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation, be a nonprofit and have an implemented and posted Sliding Fee Schedule (SFS) Eligible sites: See Provider Reference guides for full details. Does not require HPSA designation or a SFS.
Eligible Providers: DDS or DMD, Registered Dental Hygienist, MD, DO, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse, Pharmacist, Certified Nurse Midwife

Eligible Providers: DDS or DMD, Registered Dental Hygienist, MD, DO, ND, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Advance Practice Clinician (NP or PA), Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, Mental Health Nurse, Pharmacist, Certified Nurse Midwife, Licensed Midwife. Newly added this year: Requires Master or Doctoral Degree working in an integrated setting/system of care: Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, Mental Health Counselor

 

Provider Information

The provider application opens in January and will close April 14, 2017.  Providers will use one application to apply for the FSLRP and/or the HPLRP.  The FSLRP is a two-year contract with a maximum award of $70,000 and requires awardees to work a minimum of 40 hours per week.  The HPLRP is a three-year contract with a maximum award of $75,000 and allows awardees to work less than full time but requires a minimum of 24 hours per week, pro-rating the service obligation period. A Reference Guide with full details and requirements for each program is provided in the tab below.

 

Reference Guides

Eligible Professions

FSLRP eligible professions include:
  • Physician (MD/DO) - Family Medicine, Women’s Health, General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, General Pediatrics
  • General Psychiatrist (MD/DO) - must meet the qualifications for physicians above AND serve exclusively in mental health HPSAs
  • Physician Assistant - Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatric, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
  • Psychiatric Physician Assistant
  • Nurse Practitioner - Adult, Family; Pediatric, Psychiatric, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered Nurse
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Pharmacist
  • Dentist (DDS, DMD)
  • Dental Hygienist
     
HPLRP eligible professions include:
  • Physician (MD/DO) - Family Medicine, Women’s Health, General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, General Pediatrics, and General Psychiatry
  • Naturopathic Physician
  • Physician Assistant - Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatry, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
  • Nurse Practitioner - Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatry, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
  • Psychiatric Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner
  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Registered Nurse
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) 
  • Licensed Midwife
  • Pharmacist
  • Dentist (DDS, DMD)
  • Registered Dental Hygienist

New this year – must be at Master or Doctorate Degree level and working in an integrated setting/system of care:

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker 
  • Marriage and Family Therapist 
  • Mental Health Counselor 
  • Clinical Psychologist 
     

Eligible Sites

Information on eligible sites:

2017-18 Health Loan Repayment eligible site list

The site application will open in October and run through November 30, 2016.  Sites may apply to be approved for both the FSLRP and the HPLRP through one application.

Participant Requirements

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Be employed or have a contract to begin seeing patients no later than July 1, 2017. Medical residents must be employed and seeing patients no later than October 1, 2017.
  • Submit documentation of eligible outstanding educational debt (does not include loans with a cosigner or loans not in their name).
  • Provide primary care – not specialty care.
  • Be employed at an eligible site. Stand-alone urgent care/walk-in clinics, specialty care, or placement agencies are not considered eligible sites. The applicant must be a permanent employee of the site.
  • Sign a contract to serve the minimum required years or pay back the funds with penalty.
 

Service Obligation

Participants must:
  • Be employed or have a contract to begin employment (seeing patients) at an eligible site no later than July 1, 2017. Medical residents must be employed and seeing patients no later than October 1, 2017.
  • Submit the required quarterly service verification form and supporting payment history to show funds are being applied to eligible loans. 
  • Awardees of the Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) agree to serve for a minimum of two years.
  • Awardees of the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) agree to serve for a minimum of three years.

 

Application Process

Applying for loan repayment:

To apply for the Loan Repayment Program, visit the WSAC web portal.

The 2017-18 application cycle will follow the schedule below.

 

   2017 Applications Timeline
January Provider application cycle opens
April 14 Provider application cycle closes
June Applicants receive notification of application status
July 1 New contract for both program awards begin

 

 

 


Site Information

Health sites apply annually to participate in the program. Sites may apply to be approved for both the FSLRP and the HPLRP through one application. The 2017-18 Site Application is now open and will close on November 30th. The eligible site list is posted in January. 

Site Eligibility

Site eligibility:
  • Sites must reapply each year to be listed on the eligible site list. 
  • New site applicants must first register and then contact the program (360.753.7794) to have their site added.
  • If the organization has multiple clinics/locations, each individual site (physical location) must submit a separate application.
  • Dental, medical, mental health, and pharmacy applications must be submitted separately.
The site:
  • May apply for multiple professions.
  • May apply for both recruitment and retention.
  • Must submit the application online by the deadline date.
  • Will be notified of application status application by email.

The site application must be approved prior to the provider being eligible to apply.

Both the site application and provider application are competitive processes. Not all who apply will be approved or awarded.

For more information, please see the site reference guides:

 

HPSA Designation

Eligibility information:

To be eligible for the Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) the site must either be located in a Federal Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or have a HPSA designation with a score of 1 or higher. Visit the HRSA Date Warehouse to find out if your site qualifies.

The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) does not require a HPSA designation to be eligible.

Application Process

Information on the application process:

When the site application cycle opens, sites will be able to access the online application (the application is not accessible outside the application cycle window). Click on register and follow the directions to register under the column "Students/Parents/Other." Then select "Register as a Health Professional." 

If you have submitted an online site application previously, enter your email address and password to login and access your site application. If you forgot your password, click on the link to reset your password. Please note, you will not be able to access the application when the application cycle is not open.

Once you submit the application, you will not be able to make changes. Contact Chris Wilkins at chrisw@wsac.wa.gov or call 360-753-7794 with questions.