This announcement solicits applications for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is part of HRSA's overall strategy to improve access to health care.
Section 338I(a)-(i) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended (42 U.S.C.
authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services ("the Secretary") to make grants to States to assist them in providing support to health professions to repay educational debt who in turn agree to provide primary health services in Federally designated health professional shortage area (HPSAs).
The SLRP provides grants to more than 30 states, and, since the SLRP's inception in 1987, approximately 3,500 clinicians have been recruited to provide primary care services in HPSAs.
As of November 21, 2011, there were 13,745 designated primary care, dental, and mental health HPSAs according to the Bureau of Health Professions, Office of Shortage Designation.
With the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L.
111-148), an increase in the number of physicians and other primary health care practitioners will be needed to satisfy the demand for health care services by these urban, rural, and vulnerable populations.
In order to be eligible for SLRP funding, States must operate loan repayment programs for primary care providers on terms that are no more favorable than what the NHSC LRP is authorized to provide.
While this statutory requirement places certain restrictions on the structure of a State's loan repayment program, there is a significant amount of flexibility for States to differentiate their loan repayment program from the NHSC LRP.
Information contained in this announcement includes the statutory and other requirements to which all grantees must adhere.