3701-6-02 Eligibility.

(A) A primary care physician will not have an outstanding obligation for medical service to the federal government, a state, or other entity at the time of participation in the physician loan repayment program and meets one of the following requirements may apply for participation in the physician loan repayment program if:

(1) The primary care physician is enrolled in the final year of an accredited program required for board certification in a primary care specialty; or

(2) The primary care physician is enrolled in the final year of a fellowship program in a primary care specialty; or

(3) The primary care physician holds a valid certificate to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery issued under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code.

(B) The application shall be submitted by a date and on a form prescribed by the department. The form shall require an applicant to set forth the following information:

(1) Name;

(2) Current and permanent mailing address;

(3) Telephone number;

(4) Primary care specialty;

(5) The medical school or institution or school or college of osteopathy attended, dates attended and verification of attendance;

(6) The facility or institution where medical residency was completed and the date of completion;

(7) A summary of the educational expenses for which reimbursement is sought under the physician loan repayment program and verification of expenses;

(8) Verification of United States citizenship or legal alien status;

(9) Verification of certification to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code; and

(10) Any other information requested by the department of health.

(C) The director of health shall grant an application for placement in a health resource shortage area and participation in the physician loan repayment program if all of the following apply:

(1) Funds are available in the physician loan repayment fund;

(2) The general assembly has appropriated adequate funds for the physician loan repayment program; and

(3) The director finds that the applicant is eligible for placement and participation and that, in accordance with the priorities established under rule 3701-6-04 of the Administrative Code, the applicant's primary care specialty is needed in a health resource shortage area.

(D) Upon granting an application, the director shall notify and enter into discussions with the applicant. The object of the discussions is the placement of the applicant in a health resource shortage area in which, according to the priorities established under rule 3701-6-04 of the Administrative Code his or her primary care specialty is most needed.

(E) If the health resource shortage area site, the director and applicant agree on the applicant's placement in a particular health resource shortage area and the amount of the applicant's educational expenses to be repaid, the applicant shall prepare, sign, and deliver to the director a letter of intent agreeing to that placement.

(F) In the event that it is necessary to establish priorities among applicants, the director shall consider the following factors:

(1) The applicant's background and career goals;

(2) The applicant's primary care specialty;

(3) The length of time the applicant is willing to provide primary care services in a health care resource shortage area;

(4) The applicant's expressed interest in working and staying in an underserved area and whose family members are interested in the lifestyle associated with areas of underservice;

(5) The extent to which the applicant has sought or undertaken culturally or economically diverse experiences;

(6) The amount of the loan balance for which the applicant is requesting repayment assistance;

(7) Physicians being recruited to a health resource shortage area and not yet practicing in an eligible area will be given preference over physicians already practicing in the eligible area;

(8) To ensure an equitable distribution of physicians desiring to practice in a health resource shortage area, preference will be given to applicants desiring to practice in a health resource shortage area which has not had a physician placed in the preceding four years in the area either through the Ohio physician loan repayment program or through the federal national health service corps scholarship and loan repayment programs.

(G) Each applicant will be evaluated against the factors listed in this rule. A score will be given to an applicant's response to each factor and each factor will be weighted using the criteria scoring sheet attached to this rule. Each applicant will be given a total score. In addition, the director may instruct staff to interview applicants to gather responses not easily evaluated from the applicant's written application. The applicants with the highest scores will be recommended for funding provided that funds are authorized and available. When necessary due to limited funds from the general assembly, repayments of less than twenty thousand dollars per year may be made in order to maximize the number of physicians granted applications in health resource shortage areas.

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Effective: 09/06/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 06/22/2012 and 09/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3702.79
Rule Amplifies: 3702.73
Prior Effective Dates: 10/15/1994, 12/02/95, 12/28/01, 08/02/07