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 2016, 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 and demand continues to exceed funding available.
Two programs provide educational loan repayment assistance (see table below for detailed information):
- The Federal-State Loan Repayment Program (FSLRP) uses matching federal grant funds for awards.
- The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) uses only state dollars 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, full-time 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
The 2017-18 provider application cycle is now closed. 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.
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
Nurse Practitioner - Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatric, Mental Health, Geriatrics, and Women’s Health
Certified Nurse Midwife
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
- Mental Health Nurse
- Registered Nurse
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
- Licensed Midwife
- Dentist (DDS, DMD)
- Registered Dental Hygienist
New this year – must be at Master's 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
Information on eligible sites:
The 2018-2019 site application is tentatively scheduled to be open July through September 2017. Sites may apply to be approved for both the FSLRP and HPLRP through one application.
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.
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 full-time, or prorated for less than full-time, for a maximum of five years.
Applying for loan repayment:
The 2017-18 application cycle will follow the schedule below.
|2017 Application Timeline|
|By January 31||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|
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 eligible site list is posted in January 2017.
The 2018-2019 site application is tentatively scheduled to be open July through September 2017.
- Sites must reapply each year to be listed on the eligible site list.
- In order to apply for the first time, new site applicants must first register and then contact the program (360.753.7794) to enable access to the online site application.
- 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.
- 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 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:
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 Data Warehouse to find out if your site qualifies.
The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) does not require a HPSA designation to be eligible.
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 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 log in 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 program staff at Health@wsac.wa.gov or 360-753-7794 with questions.
The Health Professional Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students training to be primary care health professionals. Currently, consideration for awards is given to registered nurses who are enrolled in, or have been accepted into, an eligible nursing education program. Participants commit to teaching as a Nurse Faculty/Educator. For more information, or to apply, please visit readysetgrad.org/health.