The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, which convenes in January 2022.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
36-2172. Primary care provider loan repayment program; purpose; eligibility; default; use of monies
A. The primary care provider loan repayment program is established in the department to pay off portions of education loans taken out by physicians, dentists, pharmacists, advance practice providers and behavioral health providers.
B. The department shall prescribe application and eligibility requirements that are consistent with the requirements of the national health service corps loan repayment program (42 Code of Federal Regulations part 62). To be eligible to participate in the primary care provider loan repayment program, an applicant shall meet all of the following requirements:
1. Have completed the final year of a course of study or program approved by recognized accrediting agencies for higher education in a health profession licensed pursuant to title 32 or hold an active license in a health profession licensed pursuant to title 32.
2. Demonstrate current or prospective employment with a public or nonprofit entity located and providing services in a federally designated health professional shortage area in this state as designated under 42 Code of Federal Regulations part 5.
3. Contract with the department to serve and be qualified to serve in general dentistry, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine, geriatrics, psychiatry, pharmacy or behavioral health.
C. In addition to the requirements of subsection B of this section, an applicant who is a physician shall meet both of the following requirements:
1. Have completed a professional residency program in family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine or psychiatry or a fellowship, residency or certification program in geriatrics.
2. Contract with the department to serve for at least two years.
D. An advance practice provider, behavioral health provider or dentist who participates in the primary care provider loan repayment program shall initially contract with the department to provide services pursuant to this section for at least two years.
E. An applicant who works at an Indian health service facility or tribal or urban Indian health facility is not required to provide a sliding fee scale to be eligible for the program.
F. In making recommendations for the primary care provider loan repayment program, the department shall give priority to applicants who:
1. Intend to practice in rural areas most in need of primary care services.
2. Have been assigned to a high-need health professional shortage area pursuant to 42 Code of Federal Regulations part 5.
3. Meet criteria established in rule to determine priority consistent with the national health service corps loan repayment program (42 Code of Federal Regulations part 62, subpart B).
G. All loan repayment contract obligations are subject to the availability of monies and legislative appropriation. The department may cancel or suspend a loan repayment contract based on unavailability of monies for the program. The department is not liable for any claims, actual damages or consequential damages arising out of a cancellation or suspension of a contract.
H. This section does not prevent the department from encumbering an amount that is sufficient to ensure payment of each primary care provider loan for the services rendered during a contract period.
I. The department shall issue program monies to pay primary care provider loans that are limited to the amount of principal, interest and related expenses of educational loans, not to exceed the provider's total student loan indebtedness, according to the following schedule:
1. For physicians and dentists:
(a) For the first two years of service, a maximum of $65,000.
(b) For subsequent years, a maximum of $35,000.
2. For advance practice providers, pharmacists and behavioral health providers:
(a) For the first two years of service, a maximum of $50,000.
(b) For subsequent years, a maximum of $25,000.
J. A participant in the primary care provider loan repayment program who breaches the loan repayment contract by failing to begin or to complete the obligated services is liable for liquidated damages in an amount equivalent to the amount that would be owed for default as prescribed by the federal grants to states for loan repayment program or as determined and authorized by the department. The department may waive the liquidated damages provisions of this subsection if it determines that death or permanent physical disability accounted for the failure of the participant to fulfill the contract. The department may prescribe additional conditions for default, cancellation, waiver or suspension that are consistent with the national health service corps loan repayment program (42 Code of Federal Regulations sections 62.27 and 62.28).
K. Notwithstanding section 41-192, the department may retain legal counsel and commence whatever actions are necessary to collect loan payments and charges if there is a default or a breach of a contract entered into pursuant to this section.
L. The director of the department may authorize the program to be implemented independent of the federal grants for state loan repayment program based on the needs of this state.
M. The department may use monies to develop programs such as resident-to-service loan repayment and employer recruitment assistance to increase participation in the primary care provider loan repayment program. The department may use private donations, grants and federal monies to implement, support, promote or maintain the program.