Proposed Revisions to 940.25 - Rural Physician Incentive Program
1. Rural physician incentive trust fund. There is a rural physician incentive expendable trust fund in the state treasury. Money is payable into the fund as provided in (2). Income and earnings on the fund must be redeposited in the fund.
2. Fee assessments --
deposits. The Board of Regents will
assess a fee to students enrolling in a professional school on or after July 1,
1992, preparing to be physicians in the fields of medicine or osteopathic
medicine who are supported by the state pursuant to an interstate compact for a
professional education program in those fields, as those fields are defined by
the compact. The fee
an amount equal to 8% of the annual individual medicine
support fee paid by the state pursuant to 20-25-804, MCA. The fee must be assessed by the Board of
Regents and deposited in the rural physician incentive trust fund established
3. Use of rural physician incentive trust fund.
(i) The rural physician incentive trust fund is statutorily appropriated, as provided in 17-7-502, MCA, to the Board of Regents of Higher Education to be used to pay:
(a) the educational debts of rural physicians who practice in medically underserved areas of the state that demonstrate a need for assistance in physician recruitment; and
(b) the expenses of administering the rural physician incentive program. The expenses of administering the program may not exceed 10% of the annual fees assessed pursuant to (2).
(ii) The Regents shall determine the areas of the state that qualify for assistance. An eligible area must demonstrate that a physician shortage exists or that the area has been unsuccessful in recruiting physicians by other mechanisms.
(a) The Commissioner of Higher Education shall appoint an advisory committee to establish criteria and to determine the areas of the state that qualify for assistance in physician recruitment. In addition to the appropriate office professional staff the advisory committee shall include a representative from the Montana Medical Association, the Montana Hospital Association and the Director of the WAMI program at Montana State University.
(iii) A physician from an area determined to be eligible under (ii) may apply to the Board of Regents for payment of an educational debt directly related to a professional school, as provided in (iv). Physicians who have paid the fee authorized in (2) must be given a preference over other applicants. To receive the educational debt payments, the physician shall sign an annual contract with the Board of Regents. The contract must provide that the physician is liable for the payments if the physician ceases to practice in the eligible area during the contract period.
(iv) The maximum amount of educational debt payment that a rural physician may receive is $30,000 over a 4-year period or a proportionally reduced amount for a shorter period.
(a) The Commissioner of Higher Education shall provide the contractual terms and the annual amounts of educational debt payment a physician is eligible to receive.
(b) The Commissioner of Higher Education shall submit a biennial report to the Board of Regents, summarizing the tuition proceeds and contractual commitments for debt repayment.
(v) The amount contractually committed in a year may not exceed the annual amount deposited in the rural physician incentive trust fund.
Item 71-901-R0691, Rural Physician Incentive Program, June 21, 1991.