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2009 Florida Statutes
Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program.
1009.65 Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program.--
(1) To encourage qualified medical professionals to practice in underserved locations where there are shortages of such personnel, there is established the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program. The function of the program is to make payments that offset loans and educational expenses incurred by students for studies leading to a medical or nursing degree, medical or nursing licensure, or advanced registered nurse practitioner certification or physician assistant licensure. The following licensed or certified health care professionals are eligible to participate in this program: medical doctors with primary care specialties, doctors of osteopathic medicine with primary care specialties, physician's assistants, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, and advanced registered nurse practitioners with primary care specialties such as certified nurse midwives. Primary care medical specialties for physicians include obstetrics, gynecology, general and family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and other specialties which may be identified by the Department of Health.
(2) From the funds available, the Department of Health shall make payments to selected medical professionals as follows:
(a) Up to $4,000 per year for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, up to $10,000 per year for advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician's assistants, and up to $20,000 per year for physicians. Penalties for noncompliance shall be the same as those in the National Health Services Corps Loan Repayment Program. Educational expenses include costs for tuition, matriculation, registration, books, laboratory and other fees, other educational costs, and reasonable living expenses as determined by the Department of Health.
(b) All payments shall be contingent on continued proof of primary care practice in an area defined in s. 395.602(2)(e), or an underserved area designated by the Department of Health, provided the practitioner accepts Medicaid reimbursement if eligible for such reimbursement. Correctional facilities, state hospitals, and other state institutions that employ medical personnel shall be designated by the Department of Health as underserved locations. Locations with high incidences of infant mortality, high morbidity, or low Medicaid participation by health care professionals may be designated as underserved.
(c) The Department of Health may use funds appropriated for the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program as matching funds for federal loan repayment programs such as the National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program.
(3) The Department of Health may adopt any rules necessary for the administration of the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program. The department may also solicit technical advice regarding conduct of the program from the Department of Education and Florida universities and community colleges. The Department of Health shall submit a budget request for an amount sufficient to fund medical education reimbursement, loan repayments, and program administration.
History.--s. 448, ch. 2002-387.