Through the Washington Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, qualified healthcare professionals may qualify for student loan repayment assistance. The health corps programs encourage licensed health professionals to provide primary care at approved sites in critical shortage areas. The programs provide financial assistance through either conditional scholarships or loan repayment. Many types of health care providers are eligible, in a variety of clinical settings. Health care sites must apply and be approved as part of the application process. Read on to see eligibility requirements, award amounts, and the application process for the Washington Health Professional Loan Repayment Program.
In order to be eligible for the Washington Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, you will need to meet some or all of the following criteria:
Eligible Site Types
Sites approved by the program are health care facilities that provide comprehensive outpatient, ambulatory, primary health care services. See the example list below.
To be preapproved, the site must submit a preapproval application every three years. A site’s preapproval status lasts for three years, contingent upon the site continuing to meet minimum qualifications. Dates for the site preapproval application, as well as other timeline-specific notifications, are posted on the WSAC website at www.wsac.wa.gov/health. The following list includes examples of eligible site types but is not all-inclusive. In addition to being one of these types, the site must meet all other eligibility criteria outlined below:
1. Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) ▪ Community Health Centers (CHCs)
▪ Migrant Health Centers
2. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs)
3. Indian Health Service Facilities
▪ Federal Indian Health Service (IHS) Clinical Practice Sites
▪ Tribal-Operated 638 Health Clinics
▪ Urban Indian Health Program
4. Urgent Care Clinic, if physically attached to an eligible site and used to see patients who cannot be scheduled for appointments or for after-hours and weekends. The clinic cannot be a stand-alone urgent care or walk-in clinic.
5. Hospitals that meet program-specific requirements as follows:
▪ SHP & BHP: Must be a Critical Access Hospital or Rural Hospital.
▪ FHP: Must be a Critical Access Hospital that is affiliated with a qualified outpatient clinic
6. Private Practices
▪ May require a site visit before the application review is completed, and must meet a minimum threshold of 40% Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured, charity, and sliding fee schedule patients.
7. Correctional Facilities
8. Long-Term Care Facilities
9. Other Health Facilities
▪ Community Outpatient Facilities
▪ Community Mental Health Facilities
▪ State and County Health Department Clinics
The following list includes examples of ineligible sites for SHP, BHP, and FHP but is not all-inclusive.
▪ Free Clinics
▪ Mobile Units
▪ State Mental Health Facilities
• Specialty clinics
• Placement/staffing agencies
• K-12 school-based clinics
• Clinics that see members-only
• Non-state operated inpatient facilities
• Stand-alone urgent care or walk-in clinics
• Hospitals that do not meet the definition in #5 above
• Private practice sites that serve
Site Eligibility Criteria
Please note: Additional FHP-specific criteria are listed beginning on page 5. To be eligible, sites must meet the following criteria:
• Provide Comprehensive Primary Care (see page 2) and function as part of a system of care that either offers or ensures access to ancillary, inpatient, and specialty referrals. • Understand and agree that no aspect of the participant’s employer-provided wage will be reduced in any way as a result of the participant’s receipt of the SHP, BHP, or FHP award.
• Have been in business and have patient data for a minimum of one year prior to submitting the site application.
• Use a provider credentialing process including reference review, licensure verification, and a query of the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).
• Adhere to sound fiscal management policies and adopt provider recruitment and retention policies to help the patient population, the site, and the community obtains maximum benefits.
• Charge for professional services at the usual and customary prevailing rates, unless a Free Clinic. • Agree to accept assignments for Medicaid/Medicare beneficiaries and have entered into an appropriate agreement with the applicable state agency for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries.
• Sites may not discriminate in the provision of services to an individual: a) because the individual is unable to pay; b) because payment would be made under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP); or c) based upon the individual’s race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age, or sexual orientation.
• Prominently display a statement—in a common area and, if applicable, on the site’s website—that explicitly states that no one will be denied access to services due to method of payment or inability to pay. In addition, the signage should clearly communicate that the site accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. (Free clinics are exempt from the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP statement.) The statement should be translated into the appropriate language(s) and/or dialect(s) for the service area. Please see page 2 for more information regarding the non-discrimination policy.
• Not promise loan repayment to an employee or when recruiting for an employee. The provider application process is competitive, and there are no guarantees that a provider applicant will be awarded even if the site has been preapproved.
• If a site has a payback clause of any kind in the employment agreement/contract—such as a sign-on bonus or moving expense allowance that has a payback clause if the provider leaves before a specified time—it will make the provider ineligible for the program, unless that obligation has been fulfilled prior to the effective date of the contract.
How much can I expect to be awarded?
Through the Washington Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, qualified applicants may be eligible to receive up to $75,000 towards their student loans:
How do I apply for this repayment program?
To apply for the Washington Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, please complete the following:
Step 1: Sites apply and request pre-approval status. WSAC reviews site applications and posts a list of the pre-approved sites. A full list of the current pre-approved sites is below. Site approval status lasts for three years, contingent on the site continuing to meet minimum qualifications.
Step 2: Providers apply during the provider application cycle. To be eligible for consideration, providers must be working at a pre-approved site, or have an employment contract to start work at a pre-approved site on or before July 1.
Step 3: Sites verify the information submitted on the provider’s application and provide additional details about the physical site.
888.535.0747, option 5
Head over to the program website here for a full breakdown of this year’s requirements and application guidelines.