Chief Sponsor: David P. Hinkins

House Sponsor: Stewart Barlow


8     General Description:
9          This bill creates the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     defines terms;
13          ▸     creates the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program within the Department of
14     Health;
15          ▸     grants rulemaking authority;
16          ▸     creates the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program Advisory Committee; and
17          ▸     amends the Budgetary Procedures Act to specify that revenues and appropriations to
18     the program are nonlapsing.
19     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20          None
21     Other Special Clauses:
22          None
23     Utah Code Sections Affected:
24     AMENDS:
25          63J-1-602.1, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 384
26     ENACTS:
27          26-46a-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
28          26-46a-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
29          26-46a-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953

30          26-46a-104, Utah Code Annotated 1953

32     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
33          Section 1. Section 26-46a-101 is enacted to read:

35          26-46a-101. Title.
36          This chapter is known as "Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program."
37          Section 2. Section 26-46a-102 is enacted to read:
38          26-46a-102. Definitions.
39          As used in this chapter:
40          (1) "Hospital" means a general acute hospital, as defined in Title 26, Chapter 21,
41     Health Care Facility Licensing and Inspection Act.
42          (2) "Physician" means a person:
43          (a) licensed as a physician under Title 58, Chapter 67, Utah Medical Practice Act; or
44          (b) licensed as a physician under Title 58, Chapter 68, Utah Osteopathic Medical
45     Practice Act.
46          (3) "Rural county" means a county with a population of less than 50,000, as determined
47     by:
48          (a) the most recent official census or census estimate of the United States Census
49     Bureau; or
50          (b) the most recent population estimate for the county from the Utah Population
51     Estimates Committee, if a population figure for the county is not available under Subsection
52     (3)(a).
53          (4) "Rural hospital" means a hospital located within a rural county.
54          Section 3. Section 26-46a-103 is enacted to read:
55          26-46a-103. Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program -- Purpose -- Repayment
56     limit -- Funding -- Reporting -- Rulemaking -- Advisory committee.
57          (1) There is created within the department the Rural Physician Loan Repayment

58     Program to provide, within funding appropriated by the Legislature for this purpose, education
59     loan repayment assistance to physicians in accordance with Subsection (2).
60          (2) The department may enter into an education loan repayment assistance contract
61     with a physician if:
62          (a) the physician:
63          (i) locates or continues to practice in a rural county; and
64          (ii) has a written commitment from a rural hospital that the hospital will provide
65     education loan repayment assistance to the physician;
66          (b) the assistance provided by the program does not exceed the assistance provided by
67     the rural hospital; and
68          (c) the physician is otherwise eligible for assistance under administrative rules adopted
69     under Subsection (6).
70          (3) Funding for the program:
71          (a) shall be a line item within an appropriations act;
72          (b) may be used to pay for the per diem and travel expenses of the Rural Physician
73     Loan Repayment Program Advisory Committee under Subsection 26-46a-104(5); and
74          (c) may be used to pay for department expenses incurred in the administration of the
75     program:
76          (i) including administrative support provided to the Rural Physician Loan Repayment
77     Program Advisory Committee created under Subsection 26-46a-104(7); and
78          (ii) in an amount not exceeding 10% of funding for the program.
79          (4) Refunds of loan repayment assistance, penalties for breach of contract, and other
80     payments to the program are dedicated credits to the program.
81          (5) The department shall prepare an annual report of the program's revenues,
82     expenditures, and outcomes.
83          (6) (a) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,
84     the department shall make rules governing the administration of the program, including rules
85     that address:

86          (i) application procedures;
87          (ii) eligibility criteria;
88          (iii) verification of the amount provided by a rural hospital to a physician for
89     repayment of the physician's education loans;
90          (iv) service conditions, which at a minimum shall include professional service by the
91     physician in the rural hospital providing loan repayment assistance to the physician;
92          (v) selection criteria and assistance amounts;
93          (vi) penalties for failure to comply with service conditions or other terms of a loan
94     repayment assistance contract; and
95          (vii) criteria for modifying or waiving service conditions or penalties in the case of
96     extreme hardship or for other good cause.
97          (b) The department shall seek and consider the recommendations of the Rural
98     Physician Loan Repayment Program Advisory Committee created under Section 26-46a-104 as
99     it develops and modifies rules to administer the program.
100          Section 4. Section 26-46a-104 is enacted to read:
101          26-46a-104. Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program Advisory Committee --
102     Membership -- Compensation -- Duties.
103          (1) There is created the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program Advisory
104     Committee consisting of the following eight members appointed by the executive director:
105          (a) two legislators whose districts include rural counties;
106          (b) five administrators of rural hospitals nominated by an association representing Utah
107     hospitals, no more than two of whom are employed by hospitals affiliated by ownership; and
108          (c) a physician currently practicing in a rural county.
109          (2) An appointment to the committee shall be for a four-year term unless the member is
110     appointed to complete an unexpired term. The executive director shall adjust the length of
111     term at the time of appointment or reappointment so that approximately one-half of the
112     committee is appointed every two years. The executive director shall annually appoint a
113     committee chair from among the members of the committee.

114          (3) (a) The committee shall meet at the call of:
115          (i) the chair;
116          (ii) at least three members of the committee; or
117          (iii) the executive director.
118          (b) The committee shall meet at least once each calendar year.
119          (4) A majority of the members of the committee constitutes a quorum. The action of a
120     majority of a quorum constitutes the action of the committee.
121          (5) A member may not receive compensation or benefits for the member's service, but
122     may receive per diem and travel expenses in accordance with:
123          (a) Section 63A-3-106;
124          (b) Section 63A-3-107; and
125          (c) rules made by the Division of Finance pursuant to Sections 63A-3-106 and
126     63A-3-107.
127          (6) The committee shall make recommendations to the department for the development
128     and modification of rules to administer the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program.
129          (7) As funding permits, the department shall provide staff and other administrative
130     support to the committee.
131          Section 5. Section 63J-1-602.1 is amended to read:
132          63J-1-602.1. List of nonlapsing accounts and funds -- General authority and Title
133     1 through Title 30.
134          (1) Appropriations made to the Legislature and its committees.
135          (2) The Percent-for-Art Program created in Section 9-6-404.
136          (3) The Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Support Restricted Account created in
137     Section 9-18-102.
138          (4) The LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Program created in Section
139     11-38-301.
140          (5) An appropriation made to the Division of Wildlife Resources for the appraisal and
141     purchase of lands under the Pelican Management Act, as provided in Section 23-21a-6.

142          (6) Award money under the State Asset Forfeiture Grant Program, as provided under
143     Section 24-4-117.
144          (7) Funds collected from the emergency medical services grant program, as provided in
145     Section 26-8a-207.
146          (8) The Prostate Cancer Support Restricted Account created in Section 26-21a-303.
147          (9) State funds appropriated for matching federal funds in the Children's Health
148     Insurance Program as provided in Section 26-40-108.
149          (10) The Utah Health Care Workforce Financial Assistance Program created in Section
150     26-46-102.
151          (11) The primary care grant program created in Section 26-10b-102.
152          (12) The Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program created in Section 26-46a-103.