senate Bill S2771

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Provides for loan forgiveness for physicians who return to medical specialty shortage areas of origin

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to health
Feb 01, 2011 referred to health

S2771 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §235, add §236-b, Pub Health L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S2879

S2771 - Bill Texts

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Provides for educational loan forgiveness for physicians who return to medical specialty shortage areas of origin; defines terms.

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BILL NUMBER:S2771

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public health law, in relation to providing an educational
loan forgiveness program to physicians who return to a physician
shortage area of origin

PURPOSE:
To provide an incentive for students to study medicine and return to
underserved areas to practice.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill adds definitions of designated physician
shortage areas and specialty areas.

Section two adds the physicians returning to shortage areas loan
forgiveness program. To be eligible a participant must have lived in
any shortage area for at least two years. The education loan
forgiveness program award may be up to $15,000 per year for up to
five years. If the recipient fails to comply with the provisions of
the program the money awarded must be returned.

Section three establishes the effective date for the legislation.

JUSTIFICATION:
There are serious health professional shortages in rural areas and
some inner city areas in New York State. This bill is aimed at
attracting students who already live in underserved areas to study
medicine and then return to their shortage area. Studies have shown
that these physicians are more likely to stay for a longer time in
their original home than those who are recruited from elsewhere.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.2879 of 2009: Referred to Health
S.475 of 2007: Passed Senate in 2008
S.3422 of 2005: Referred to Health

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
There would be a small impact on tax revenues to the state with this
program. The total amount would depend on how many physicians
participate in the program.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
The effective date shall take effect 180 days after it has been signed
into law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2771

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 1, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. BONACIC -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health  law,  in  relation  to  providing  an
  educational  loan  forgiveness  program  to physicians who return to a
  physician shortage area of origin

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section 235 of the public health law is amended by adding
two new subdivisions 5 and 6 to read as follows:
  5. "DESIGNATED PHYSICIAN SHORTAGE AREAS", AS REFERENCED IN SECTION SIX
HUNDRED FIVE OF THE EDUCATION LAW, ARE AREAS DETERMINED BY THE BOARD  OF
REGENTS,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE COMMISSIONER, TO BE AREAS IN SHORT
SUPPLY OF CERTAIN PHYSICIAN SPECIALTIES.
  6. "SPECIALTY" OR "SPECIALTY AREA" SHALL MEAN THE BRANCH  OR  BRANCHES
OF SPECIAL COMPETENCE WITHIN A PHYSICIAN'S MEDICAL PRACTICE.
  S 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 236-b to
read as follows:
  S  236-B.  PHYSICIANS  RETURNING  TO  SHORTAGE  AREAS LOAN FORGIVENESS
PROGRAM. 1. PHYSICIAN LOAN FORGIVENESS AWARDS SHALL BE  ISSUED  ANNUALLY
TO  PHYSICIANS  WHO  AGREE TO RETURN TO A SHORTAGE AREA OF ORIGIN IN NEW
YORK STATE DESIGNATED BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS AS HAVING  A  SHORTAGE  OF
PHYSICIANS  IN  CERTAIN SPECIALTY AREAS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, A
SHORTAGE AREA OF ORIGIN SHALL MEAN  ANY  DESIGNATED  PHYSICIAN  SHORTAGE
AREA  WHERE  THE PHYSICIAN PARTICIPANT HAD PREVIOUSLY LIVED FOR AT LEAST
TWO YEARS. SUCH PARTICIPATING PHYSICIANS SHALL  RECEIVE  AN  EDUCATIONAL
LOAN  FORGIVENESS AWARD OF UP TO FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER YEAR FOR A
MAXIMUM OF FIVE YEARS. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGU-
LATIONS TO ADMINISTER SUCH LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM.
  2. THE PHYSICIAN APPLICANT MUST BE  A  RESIDENT  OF  NEW  YORK  STATE,
LICENSED  TO  PRACTICE  MEDICINE,  AND CERTIFIED IN THE NEEDED SPECIALTY
AREA OF MEDICINE. THE APPLICANT MUST HAVE COMPLETED A PROFESSIONAL RESI-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01892-01-1

S. 2771                             2

DENCY PROGRAM WITHIN THE FIVE YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE PERIOD FOR
WHICH THE FIRST AWARD WOULD BE  GRANTED,  OR  BE  WITHIN  TWO  YEARS  OF
COMPLETION OF AN ACCREDITED RESIDENCY PROGRAM IN A PRIMARY CARE SPECIAL-
TY  DESIGNATED  IN  SHORT  SUPPLY BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS. THE APPLICANT
MUST AGREE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN AN AREA OF ORIGIN IN NEW  YORK  STATE
DESIGNATED  AS  HAVING  A  SHORTAGE  OF  PHYSICIANS IN CERTAIN SPECIALTY
AREAS.
  3. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER  OF  EDUCA-
TION,  SHALL ESTABLISH CRITERIA FOR THE SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS IN THE
PROGRAM. AN APPLICANT MUST SATISFY AT LEAST ONE OF THE  CRITERIA  ESTAB-
LISHED.  A PRIORITY SHALL BE ACCORDED TO ANY APPLICANT WHO IS COMPLETING
A YEAR OF THE SERVICE REQUIREMENT AND IS REAPPLYING FOR A NEW AWARD. THE
CRITERIA SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING:
  A. REAPPLICATION FOR A NEW AWARD BY A PERSON  WHO  IS  COMPLETING  THE
SECOND YEAR OF A SERVICE REQUIREMENT;
  B.  RECEIPT  OF  SPECIFIC  TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE MATCHING A SPECIALTY
MEDICAL NEED EXISTING IN A SHORTAGE AREA OF ORIGIN; AND
  C. AGREEMENT TO PRACTICE IN A SHORTAGE AREA OF  ORIGIN  DETERMINED  BY
THE  BOARD OF REGENTS TO HAVE A SEVERE SHORTAGE OF SPECIALTY CARE PHYSI-
CIAN SERVICES.
  4. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL VERIFY THE PHYSICIAN'S ELIGIBILITY  AND  THE
PHYSICIAN'S TOTAL MEDICAL EDUCATIONAL LOAN EXPENSES.
  5. WITHIN SUCH TIME AS THE COMMISSIONER SHALL BY REGULATION PROVIDE, A
PARTICIPATING  PHYSICIAN  SHALL  HAVE  AGREED  TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN A
SPECIFIC SHORTAGE AREA OF ORIGIN DESIGNATED  AS  HAVING  A  SHORTAGE  OF
PHYSICIANS  IN  A  SPECIALTY AREA FOR A PERIOD OF TWELVE MONTHS FOR EACH
ANNUAL PAYMENT TO BE RECEIVED BY THE PARTICIPANT. IN NO CASE  SHALL  THE
TOTAL  SERVICE REQUIRED BE LESS THAN TWO YEARS NOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS.
THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DEVELOP AND SECURE FROM EACH PARTICIPANT, A WRIT-
TEN AGREEMENT TO:
  A. PRACTICE SPECIALTY MEDICINE IN  THE  DESIGNATED  SHORTAGE  AREA  OF
ORIGIN;
  B. TO ACCEPT MEDICARE AND MEDICAID PAYMENTS; AND
  C. TO PROVIDE THIRTY-FIVE HOURS PER WEEK OF DIRECT PATIENT CARE IN THE
DESIGNATED SHORTAGE AREA OF ORIGIN BEING SERVED.
  6.  IF  A  RECIPIENT  FAILS  TO COMPLY FULLY WITH SUCH CONDITIONS, THE
COMMISSIONER SHALL BE ENTITLED  TO  RECEIVE  FROM  SUCH  PARTICIPANT  AN
AMOUNT TO BE DETERMINED BY THE FORMULA:
                               A = 2B (T-S)
                                    T
IN  WHICH "A" IS THE AMOUNT THE COMMISSIONER IS ENTITLED TO RECOVER; "B"
IS THE SUM OF ALL PAYMENTS MADE TO THE RECIPIENT  AND  THE  INTEREST  ON
SUCH AMOUNT WHICH WOULD BE PAYABLE IF AT THE TIMES SUCH AWARDS WERE PAID
THEY  WERE LOANS BEARING INTEREST AT THE MAXIMUM PREVAILING RATE; "T" IS
THE TOTAL NUMBER OF MONTHS IN  THE  PARTICIPANT'S  PERIOD  OF  OBLIGATED
SERVICES;  AND  "S" IS THE NUMBER OF MONTHS OF SERVICE ACTUALLY RENDERED
BY THE PARTICIPANT. ANY AMOUNT WHICH THE  COMMISSIONER  IS  ENTITLED  TO
RECOVER UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE PAID WITHIN THE FIVE-YEAR PERIOD
BEGINNING  ON  THE  DATE THAT THE PARTICIPANT FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THIS
PROGRAM CRITERIA. NOTHING IN THE  WRITTEN  AGREEMENT  SHALL  AFFECT  THE
TERMS  OF EMPLOYMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO SHALL NEGOTIATE, SEPARATE AND
APART FROM THE PROGRAM, HIS OR HER SALARY AND OTHER FORMS OF  EMPLOYMENT
WITH  AN  AGENCY,  PRACTICE,  INSTITUTION  OR PROGRAM IN WHICH HE OR SHE
SHALL BE EMPLOYED.
  ANY OBLIGATION TO COMPLY WITH SUCH  PROVISIONS  AS  OUTLINED  IN  THIS
SECTION  SHALL  BE  CANCELLED  UPON  THE  DEATH  OF THE PARTICIPANT. THE

S. 2771                             3

COMMISSIONER SHALL MAKE REGULATIONS TO PROVIDE FOR THE WAIVER OR SUSPEN-
SION OF ANY FINANCIAL OBLIGATION WHICH WOULD INVOLVE EXTREME HARDSHIP.
  7.  A PARTICIPANT OF THE PROGRAM SHALL REPORT ANNUALLY TO THE NEW YORK
STATE HIGHER EDUCATION SERVICES CORPORATION AND THE DEPARTMENT ON  FORMS
PRESCRIBED  BY  THE  COMMISSIONER, AS TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THE REQUIRED
SERVICES, COMMENCING WITH THE CALENDAR YEAR  IN  WHICH  THE  PARTICIPANT
BEGINS  TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN A SHORTAGE AREA OF ORIGIN AND CONTINUING
UNTIL THE RECIPIENT SHALL HAVE COMPLETED, OR IT IS DETERMINED THAT HE OR
SHE SHALL NOT BE OBLIGATED TO COMPLETE, THE  PROGRAM.  THE  COMMISSIONER
SHALL  HAVE  THE  DISCRETION  TO  WAIVE THE FILING OF A REPORT, EXCUSE A
DELAY IN FILING OR A FAILURE TO FILE A REPORT FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN.
  8. THE PROGRAM SHALL NOT PREVENT PARTICIPANTS FROM BEING  ELIGIBLE  TO
APPLY FOR OTHER PROGRAMS OR AWARDS.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate-
ly,  the  addition,  amendment  and/or  repeal of any rule or regulation
necessary for the implementation of this act on its  effective  date  is
authorized  and  directed  to  be  made  and completed on or before such
effective date.

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