5120.55 Licensed health professional recruitment program.

(A) As used in this section, "licensed health professional" means any or all of the following:

(1) A dentist who holds a current, valid license issued under Chapter 4715. of the Revised Code to practice dentistry;

(2) A licensed practical nurse who holds a current, valid license issued under Chapter 4723. of the Revised Code that authorizes the practice of nursing as a licensed practical nurse;

(3) An optometrist who holds a current, valid certificate of licensure issued under Chapter 4725. of the Revised Code that authorizes the holder to engage in the practice of optometry;

(4) A physician who is authorized under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code to practice medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, or podiatric medicine and surgery;

(5) A psychologist who holds a current, valid license issued under Chapter 4732. of the Revised Code that authorizes the practice of psychology as a licensed psychologist;

(6) A registered nurse who holds a current, valid license issued under Chapter 4723. of the Revised Code that authorizes the practice of nursing as a registered nurse, including such a nurse who is also authorized to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse as defined in section 4723.01 of the Revised Code.

(B)

(1) The department of rehabilitation and correction may establish a recruitment program under which the department, by means of a contract entered into under division (C) of this section, agrees to repay all or part of the principal and interest of a government or other educational loan incurred by a licensed health professional who agrees to provide services to inmates of correctional institutions under the department's administration.

(2)

(a) For a physician to be eligible to participate in the program, the physician must have attended a school that was, during the time of attendance, a medical school or osteopathic medical school in this country accredited by the liaison committee on medical education or the American osteopathic association, a college of podiatry in this country recognized as being in good standing under section 4731.53 of the Revised Code, or a medical school, osteopathic medical school, or college of podiatry located outside this country that was acknowledged by the world health organization and verified by a member state of that organization as operating within that state's jurisdiction.

(b) For a nurse to be eligible to participate in the program, the nurse must have attended a school that was, during the time of attendance, a nursing school in this country accredited by the commission on collegiate nursing education or the national league for nursing accrediting commission or a nursing school located outside this country that was acknowledged by the world health organization and verified by a member state of that organization as operating within that state's jurisdiction.

(c) For a dentist to be eligible to participate in the program, the dentist must have attended a school that was, during the time of attendance, a dental college that enabled the dentist to meet the requirements specified in section 4715.10 of the Revised Code to be granted a license to practice dentistry.

(d) For an optometrist to be eligible to participate in the program, the optometrist must have attended a school of optometry that was, during the time of attendance, approved by the state board of optometry.

(e) For a psychologist to be eligible to participate in the program, the psychologist must have attended an educational institution that, during the time of attendance, maintained a specific degree program recognized by the state board of psychology as acceptable for fulfilling the requirement of division (B) (3) of section 4732.10 of the Revised Code.

(C) The department shall enter into a contract with each licensed health professional it recruits under this section. Each contract shall include at least the following terms:

(1) The licensed health professional agrees to provide a specified scope of medical, osteopathic medical, podiatric, optometric, psychological, nursing, or dental services to inmates of one or more specified state correctional institutions for a specified number of hours per week for a specified number of years.

(2) The department agrees to repay all or a specified portion of the principal and interest of a government or other educational loan taken by the licensed health professional for the following expenses to attend, for up to a maximum of four years, a school that qualifies the licensed health professional to participate in the program:

(a) Tuition;

(b) Other educational expenses for specific purposes, including fees, books, and laboratory expenses, in amounts determined to be reasonable in accordance with rules adopted under division (D) of this section;

(c) Room and board, in an amount determined to be reasonable in accordance with rules adopted under division (D) of this section.

(3) The licensed health professional agrees to pay the department a specified amount, which shall be no less than the amount already paid by the department pursuant to its agreement, as damages if the licensed health professional fails to complete the service obligation agreed to or fails to comply with other specified terms of the contract. The contract may vary the amount of damages based on the portion of the service obligation that remains uncompleted.

(4) Other terms agreed upon by the parties.

The licensed health professional's lending institution or the Ohio board of regents, may be a party to the contract. The contract may include an assignment to the department of the licensed health professional's duty to repay the principal and interest of the loan.

(D) If the department elects to implement the recruitment program, it shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that establish all of the following:

(1) Criteria for designating institutions for which licensed health professionals will be recruited;

(2) Criteria for selecting licensed health professionals for participation in the program;

(3) Criteria for determining the portion of a loan which the department will agree to repay;

(4) Criteria for determining reasonable amounts of the expenses described in divisions (C)(2)(b) and (c) of this section;

(5) Procedures for monitoring compliance by a licensed health professional with the terms of the contract the licensed health professional enters into under this section;

(6) Any other criteria or procedures necessary to implement the program.

Cite as R.C. § 5120.55

History. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 51, HB 83, §1, eff. 3/20/2014.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.194, HB 303, §1, eff. 3/20/2013.

Effective Date: 12-02-1996; 2008 SB147 04-07-2009