The Michigan State Loan Repayment Program
Healthcare Employers, Providers, and MSLRP Marketing Partners:
The Michigan State Loan Repayment Program (MSLRP) provides loan repayment assistance to medical, dental, and mental healthcare providers who enter into MSLRP service obligations. These service obligations require participants to provide full-time primary health care services to ambulatory populations at eligible, not-for-profit practice sites located in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) for a period of two years.
Please see the attached MSLRP Program Opportunity Update below for more information on the following:
- New Application Period: April 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013
- Contribution Requirement Remains at 20 Percent for Most Employers
- Obstetric Service Providers Remain Top Priority
- Program Requirements and Selection Criteria
- Length and Amount of MSLRP Agreements
- Providers also Applying to the National Health Services Corps
- Partnering with Local Foundations to Recruit and Retain Primary Care Providers
If you have questions about the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program, please contact Ken Miller at (517) 241-9946 or MillerK3@michigan.gov.
The Michigan State Loan Repayment Program (MSLRP) assists employers in the recruitment and retention of medical, dental, and mental health care providers by providing loan repayment to those who enter into MSLRP service obligations. These service obligations require participants to provide full-time, primary health care services at an eligible nonprofit practice site located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for two years.
1. New MSLRP Application Period Starts April 1, 2013:
The FY14 application period will begin on April 1, 2013 and continue through June 30, 2013. To participate in this application period, a complete, single-submission application package must be postmarked no later than June 30, 2013. The program is required to return applications that do not meet this requirement. New application forms are available on the MSLRP Website at: www.michigan.gov/mslrp under ‘SLRP Application Forms’. You must use the new forms to apply for MSLRP. Briefly, providers must complete Provider Application Part A and Part B, and employers must complete the Practice Site Application and Declaration of Intent. All three application forms must be submitted in a single envelope. Loan repayment contracts for successful applicants will begin on October 1, 2013 and continue through September 30, 2015.
2. Contribution Requirement Remains at 20 Percent for Most Employers:
The Legislature is expected to include state funds in the Michigan Department of Community Health Budget for MSLRP. This will allow the contribution requirement for not-for-profit employers to remain at 20 percent of their providers’ loan repayment contracts. For-profit employers will continue to contribute 50 percent.
*Please Note: Federal requirements do not allow MSLRP contracts to be used as a salary offset. Salaries for health professionals participating in the MSLRP must be based on prevailing rates in their practice areas.
3. Obstetric Service Providers Remain Top Priority:
Obstetrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the care of women during pregnancy and during and following childbirth. In response to legislative concerns over reported shortages, obstetric service providers remain the program’s top priority and will receive preference in the selection process. This includes OB/GYN physicians and certified nurse midwives (CNMWs), as well as family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) who provide obstetric services on a regular basis at both hospital and non-hospital-based clinics. Clinicians who provide prenatal care, but do not perform deliveries, may also receive priority status. Employers may request obstetric service provider priority status for a provider’s MSLRP application by checking ‘Obstetric Provider Priority Status’ on their Practice Site Application and submitting an Obstetric Provider Priority Request form with their application package. Employers will find the Obstetric Provider Priority Request form on the MSLRP Website under ‘SLRP Application Forms’. The form requests employers to describe their geographical service area, any unmet need for obstetric services, as well as their plans to address any unmet obstetric service needs.
4. Program Requirements and Selection Criteria:
Like the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP), MSLRP requires participants to work at HPSA-eligible practice sites providing primary care to an ambulatory population. Unlike the NHSC LRP, MSLRP doesn’t consider HPSA scores when awarding loan repayment contracts.
Instead, MSLRP’s selection criteria give preference for priority providers and practice site types. While obstetric service providers will receive top priority, all medical, dental and mental health primary care providers listed on the MSLRP Website will remain eligible for loan repayment. Providers receiving preference in the selection process will include:
- Obstetric Service Providers (top priority)
- M-SEARCH Participants
Primary care providers, who have completed an M-SEARCH clinical rotation, including a Community Project in an underserved area, will receive preference in the selection process. You will find more about the M-SEARCH Program at: www.michigan.gov/msearch.
Practice sites receiving preference in the selection process will include:
- Local Health Departments
- State-funded Institutions
- State Psychiatric Hospitals
- Forensic Medicine Centers
- CMH Agencies
- State Correctional Facilities
- State-funded Primary Care Clinics
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and FQHC Look-Alikes
- Critical Access Hospital (CAH) - Administered Primary Care Clinics
- Certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) Designated as Facility HPSAs
Applicants with either a priority provider or practice site type will be considered single-priority applicants, while those with both will be considered double-priority applicants. Double-priority applicants will receive preference over single-priority applicants, and single-priority applicants will receive preference over applicants not receiving preference for either provider or practice site type.
5. Length and Amount of MSLRP Agreements:
Initial MSLRP loan repayment agreements must be for two years. Departmental budget rules and federal expenditure requirements preclude MSLRP from continuing to offer three- and four-year agreements. Since providers may participate in MSLRP for a total of four years, those awarded initial two-year agreements may reapply for an additional two years.
Providers and employers are encouraged to apply for loan repayment amounts that address their mutual needs. Providers and employers must discuss agreement amounts before applying, because employers are required to contribute 20 percent of the total agreement in six-month installments. For mid-level providers, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, agreement amounts may range from the traditional $15,000 up to a maximum of $35,000 per year. For primary providers, such as physicians and dentists, annual agreement amounts may range from the traditional $25,000 up to a maximum of $35,000 per year. Please note that MSLRP reserves the right to reduce requested agreement amounts.
6. Providers also Applying to the National Health Services Corps:
Federal guidelines require program funds to be obligated soon after the application period ends on June 30, 2013. This means that providers and employers must be ready to either accept or decline an MSLRP agreement when first contacted by the program. This includes applicants waiting for notification from the NHSC as to whether or not they will be awarded a loan repayment contract. Employers and providers with NHSC applications pending must discuss whether they will accept an MSLRP contract before they receive their first call from MSLRP to initiate the contracting process. Once the MSLRP contracting process begins, applications of those not ready to contract will be withdrawn, and they will be invited to reapply during the following program year.
7. Partnering with Local Foundations to Recruit and Retain Primary Care Providers:
Employers may want to consider partnering with local community and corporate foundations to offer loan repayment to help recruit and retain primary care providers. Foundations supporting the required MSLRP 20 percent employer contribution leverage their contributions five times through the use of state and federal funding. For example, a foundation funding a $10,000 employer contribution generates $50,000 in tax-free loan repayment to recruit or retain a primary care community-based provider.
You are only three clicks away from contacting your local community foundation about joining forces in bringing needed primary care providers to your community:
- Click on: http://www.forgoodforever.org/Default.htm to enter the Michigan Community Foundations Website,
- Click on the button labeled “Find Your Local Community Foundation,” then
- Click your county on the map provided.
Employers and foundations who have questions about partnering to provide tax-free loan repayment may call Linda Tarjeft, Michigan Area Health Education Center (MI-AHEC) at (313) 577-5161. The MI-AHEC can provide additional information on assistance available through your regional MI-AHEC office and local corporate foundations and can schedule a conference call among employers, foundations, and the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program.
Additional MSLRP Information:
You will find additional information regarding MSLRP eligibility requirements and application forms on the MSLRP Website at: www.michigan.gov/mslrp.
If you have further questions about the program, please call or email Ken Miller at (517) 241-9946 or firstname.lastname@example.org.