Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program (MLRP)
1. What is the purpose of a Loan Repayment Program?
These programs assist qualified healthcare organizations in recruiting or retaining health professionals by funding repayment of educational loans incurred by the health professionals. In return, the health professional makes a commitment to practice two years full time (or pro-rated part-time) at an eligible healthcare organization located in an identified high need area.
2. Where are identified high need areas?
Massachusetts has federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas or HPSAs in both rural and urban areas. To determine if an area (county, group of census tracts or facility) is a federally designated HPSA, go to: http://hpsafind.hrsa.gov/
Massachusetts also has identified state specific shortage areas. These are currently listed in the MLRP Component C http://www.mass.gov/dph/primarycare
3. Are practice sites required to meet specific criteria?
Yes. Eligible sites must meet either federal or state program requirements about location and population served. Some of these requirements include that sites must be: public or non-profit private, located in a HPSA, participate in MassHealth, accept Medicaid, Medicare and serve all patients regardless of ability to pay. For more information see program guide at: http://www.mass.gov/dph/primarycare
4. How long is the commitment?
The health professional is required to sign a contract for a two-year period of full-time service or the equivalent of two years full-time for part-time service.
5. Who is eligible for loan repayment?
A range of licensed health professional disciplines are eligible including Primary Care Physicians , Dentists, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse-Midwives, Primary Care Physician Assistants, Dental Hygienists, Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Psychiatric Nurse Specialists, Mental Health Counselors, Licensed Professional counselors, (including behavioral and substance abuse disorder) Marriage and family therapists, Registered Nurses and Pharmacists.
6. What happens if I receive loan repayment but then change my mind before completing the contract commitment with MLRP?
Failure to commence or complete the MLRP service obligation will result in serious liability to repay both Federal and State funds that were provided for loan repayment.
7. How does the award process work?
When an MLRP award is made to a health professional, award installments are made electronically to the health professional's bank account approximately 1-3 times over the duration of the contract period.
8. When are the MLRP applications due?
MLRP applications are accepted from March 1st through September 15th annually. Review and award notification will be completed on or before January 15th of each year.
9. Is a physician who currently receives loan repayment from the National Health Service Corps eligible to apply for the MLRP?
No. Applicants must have no current commitments to the National Health Service Corps or other state and federal loan repayment programs at the time of application.
10. Where do I find an MLRP application?
The program guide and application are at http://www.mass.gov/dph/primarycare - and click on the topic: Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program.
11. Who do I contact for more information?
Email: Nicole.Watson@state.ma.us. Phone: 617-624-6051
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