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Section 5119.185 | Clinician recruitment program.

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(A) As used in this section, "physician" means an individual authorized under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery.

(B) The department of mental health and addiction services may establish a physician recruitment program under which the department agrees to repay all or part of the principal and interest of a government or other educational loan incurred by a physician who agrees to provide services to inpatients and outpatients of institutions under the department's administration. To be eligible to participate in the program, a physician must have attended a school that was, at the time of attendance, a medical school or osteopathic medical school in this country accredited by the liason committee on medical education or the American osteopathic association, or a medical school or osteopathic medical 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) The department shall enter into a contract with each physician it recruits under this section. Each contract shall include at least the following terms:

(1) The physician agrees to provide a specified scope of medical or osteopathic medical services for a specified number of hours per week and a specified number of years to patients of one or more specified institutions administered by the department.

(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 physician for the following expenses if the physician meets the service obligation agreed to and the expenses were incurred while the physician was enrolled in, for up to a maximum of four years, a school that qualifies the physician 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 physician agrees to pay the department a specified amount, which shall be not less than the amount already paid by the department pursuant to its agreement, as damages if the physician 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 physician's service obligation that remains uncompleted as determined by the department.

(4) Other terms agreed upon by the parties.

(D) If the department elects to implement the physician 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 physicians will be recruited;

(2) Criteria for selecting physicians for participation in the program;

(3) Criteria for determining the portion of a physician's loan that 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 physicians with the terms of their contracts;

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

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