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State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

Program Description

The Delaware Loan Repayment Program is designed to recruit health professionals to areas of the state that have been identified as underserved by the Delaware Health Care Commission.

Applications are currently being accepted for these specialties:

Advanced-Degree Practitioners Mid-Level Practitioners
  • Primary Care Physicians (MD and DO)
    • Family Medicine*
    • Osteopathic Practitioners*
    • Internal Medicine*
    • Pediatrics*
    • Obstetrics & Gynecology*
    • General and Pediatric Psychiatry*
  • Medical Oncologists
  • General Practice Dentists (DDS and DMD)
  • Registered Clinical Dental Hygienists
  • Primary Care Certified Nurse Practitioners
  • Certified Nurse Midwives
  • Primary Care Physicians Assistants
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Nurse Specialists
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers
  • Licensed Prof. Counselors of Mental Health
  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists


Note - * Indicates an approved primary care specialty for physicians.

Through this program, the Higher Education Office is authorized to make awards for repayment of outstanding government and commercial loans incurred during undergraduate or graduate education (i.e. principal, interest and related expenses for tuition and educational costs).

Applications from practice sites seeking to recruit and hire a clinician under this loan repayment program are also accepted. Practice sites include public or private non-profit settings and private practices (solo or group). Loan repayment funds may also be awarded to assist with loans for capital/equipment expenditures to establish a practice in an area of high need. For more information please contact the program coordinator at (302) 739-2730.

Health professionals participating in this program must provide health services in a practice setting approved by the Delaware Health Care Commission. Initial contracts may be signed for a minimum of two (2) years and maximum of three (3) years. Participants may re-apply for contract extensions in one-year increments, not to exceed a total of four (4) years of loan repayment. Extensions will be granted at the discretion of the Loan Repayment Committee and are contingent upon the availability of funds. Priority will be given to new applicants.

The Delaware State Loan Repayment Committee will review and rank applications in priority order. This will be based on the objective review of data (including public health indicators, the number and spatial distribution of providers practicing in Delaware, hospital needs assessments when applicable), the availability of funding, practice sites and (when applicable) the outcome of face-to-face interviews with selected applicants.

Types of Loan Repayment Awards

The Loan Repayment Program is funded through a combination of state and federal funds.  Depending on the type and location of the practice site, some awards qualify to receive matching state and federal contributions and others are funded with state-only dollars.  The same conditions and requirements apply to both types of loan repayment awards.

  • State & federal funds – must be a non-profit, public facility or practice located in a designated health professional shortage area.
  • State-only funds – private, for-profit facility or practice located in a designated health professional shortage area; and awards for capital/equipment loans.

Tax Implications

  • State & Federal funds – according to an interpretation of a recent amendment to the Federal Public Health Service Act, qualifying loan repayment awards funded with matching State & Federal dollars awarded on or after January 1, 2004 are exempt from federal gross income and employment taxes.  Additionally, the State of Delaware follows the federal regulations so that qualifying loan repayment funds are also exempt from Delaware state income tax.
  • State-only funds – awards funded with non-qualifying State-only dollars may still constitute a taxable event subject to state taxation on the total award amount. Participants receiving state-only funded awards may still receive a Tax Form 1099 for each year they receive a loan repayment award.

Recipients will be notified at the time of award, and prior to signing a contract, whether their award contains qualifying State & Federal dollars OR State-only dollars. All loan repayment award recipients are strongly advised and urged to contact their own tax professional for information and advice regarding the possible tax implications specific to their personal financial circumstances and loan repayment awards.

Default Provision

Loan repayment recipients whose awards contain State & Federal funds must agree to the following provision.  Should the participant breach the loan repayment contract by failing to complete the specified service commitment the participant will owe the State of Delaware an amount equal to the sum of the following:

  1. The total of the amounts paid by the SLRP to, or on behalf of, the participant for loan repayments for any period of obligated service not served;
  2. An amount equal to the product of the number of months of obligated service not completed multiplied by $7,500; and
  3. Interest on the amounts above at the maximum legal prevailing rate, as determined by the Treasurer of the United States, from the date of breach, except that the amount the State of Delaware is entitled to recover shall not be less than $31,000.

Award Amounts

  • Advanced-degree Practitioners may be granted up to $70,000 total for a two (2) year commitment, or $105,000 for a three (3) year contract.*
  • Mid-level Practitioners may be granted up to $35,000 total for a two (2) year commitment, or $52,500 maximum for a three (3) year contract.*

*Please note that these figures represent the maximum award possible over 3 years; they are not guaranteed levels of funding. Average awards for advanced-degree practitioners range from $25,000 - $35,000 for a two year contract. Average awards for mid-level practitioners range from $10,000 - $15,000 for a two year contract. All awards are paid on a graduated scale.

Distribution Formulae Tables

Advanced-Degree Practitioners - payments will be made in accordance with the tables below.
Payments will be made 2 times a year, after 6 months of service. EXAMPLE:

Service Year Period Award Debt Repay $ Cumulative $
  1 1st 6 mo. 1/10th 7,000  
  1 2nd 6 mo. 2/10th 14,000 (21,000)

Service Year Period Award Debt Repay $ Cumulative $
  2 1st 6 mo. 3/10th 21,000 (42,000)
  2 2nd 6 mo. 4/10th 28,000 (70,000)

Service Year Period Award Debt Repay $ Cumulative $
  3 (if applicable) 1st 6 mo. 1/2 17,500 (87,500)
  3 (if applicable) 2nd 6 mo. 1/2 17,500 (105,000)

Mid-level Practitioners - payments will be made in accordance with the tables below.
Payments will be made 2 times a year, after 6 months of service. EXAMPLE:

Service Year Period Award Debt Repay $ Cumulative $
  1 1st 6 mo. 1/10th 3,500  
  1 2nd 6 mo. 2/10th 7,000 (10,500)

Service Year Period Award Debt Repay $ Cumulative $
  2 1st 6 mo. 3/10th 10,500 (21,000)
  2 2nd 6 mo. 4/10th 14,000 (35,000)

Service Year Period Award Debt Repay $ Cumulative $
  3 (if applicable) 1st 6 mo. 1/2 8,750 (43,750)
  3 (if applicable) 2nd 6 mo. 1/2 8,750 (52,500)


Practice Site Requirements:

Practice sites must meet the following conditions:

  • Be located in a health professional shortage area identified by the Delaware Health Care Commission;
  • Be identified by the Delaware Health Care Commission as a loan repayment practice site;
  • Be committed to employing a health professional full-time (minimum of 40 hours a week, not including time on-call or travel time, except in those instances where the clinician is providing full-time care to low income, homebound patients in an underserved area and for whom transportation to the clinician’s office is either unavailable or unreliable) for a minimum of two (2) years;
  • Provide assurance that compensation to Loan Repayment Clinician(s) will be comparable to prevailing rates in the area;
  • Provide adequate documentation of the medical care that will be provided by the Loan Repayment Clinician; and
  • Certify that the Loan Repayment Clinician will provide health care services to Medicare, Medicaid, State Children Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), and uninsured patients.
  • All practice site sponsors must not have been convicted of any felony, including but not limited to violent felonies, as so defined under either Federal or State law and as more particularly defined and enumerated in 11 Del. C. Sec. 4201; and not have been convicted or found guilty of, or disciplined by this or any other State licensing Board or Agency authorized to issue a certificate to practice medicine or dentistry in this or any other State, for unprofessional conduct as so defined in 24 Del. C. Sec. 1731(a);
  • Practice sites must agree to allow all non-dental clinicians to participate in the Delaware Community Healthcare Access Program (CHAP) and the Voluntary Initiative Program Phase II (VIP II) sponsored by the Medical Society of Delaware. CHAP provides low cost or no cost primary care "medical homes" to individuals who are ineligible for the Diamond State Health Plan or the Delaware Healthy Children Program, yet within established income limits. Enrollment in CHAP also provides eligible individuals with access to a statewide network of medical subspecialty services. Other benefits currently under negotiation include discounted lab and x-ray services, and pharmaceuticals. CHAP recipients receive discounted medical services based upon their income. VIP II is a statewide network of private physicians who accept CHAP patients into their practices and serve as their health home or provide medical subspecialty services.

Health Professional Requirements

Applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • Be a clinician practicing in an eligible specialty with United States citizenship or a legal permanent resident of the United States or be a selected refugee approved by the U.S. Attorney General;
    • For purposes of this Program and the required application requirements, proof of United States citizenship or permanent legal resident of the United States must be established by providing with this application a certified copy of one of the following documents: a birth certificate, naturalization papers, United States passport, or marriage certificate (for legal permanent residents). For selected refugees, a certified copy of the approval by the United States Attorney General shall be required.
      Thank you.

  • Be committed to providing full-time patient care (minimum of 40 hours a week, not including time on-call or travel time, except in those instances where the clinician is providing full-time care to low income, homebound patients in an underserved area and for whom transportation to the clinician’s office is either unavailable or unreliable) for a minimum of two (2) years in an underserved area;
  • Establish residency within 30 minutes of the practice site or, in the case of physicians, meet the requirement of the hospital in the catchment areas for admitting privileges;
  • Have a valid, unrestricted license to practice in the State of Delaware at the time the service obligation begins;
  • Have not been convicted of any felony, including but not limited to violent felonies, as so defined under either Federal or State law and as more particularly defined and enumerated in 11 Del. C. Sec. 4201;
  • Have not been convicted or found guilty of, or disciplined by this or any other State licensing Board or Agency authorized to issue a certificate to practice medicine or dentistry in this or any other State, for unprofessional conduct as so defined in 24 Del. C. Sec. 1731(a). Such a bar to applying for the Delaware State Loan Repayment Program For Health Professionals shall occur if the applicant was disciplined by means of levying a fine or by the restriction, suspension or revocation, either permanently or temporarily, of the applicant’s certificate to practice medicine or dentistry, or by other appropriate action, which may include a requirement that the applicant who was disciplined must also complete specified continuing professional education courses.
  • Have outstanding qualifying higher education loans that are not in default;
  • All dentists must agree that a minimum of 20% of their scheduled appointments will be comprised of Medicaid and S-CHIP (Delaware Healthy Children Program) patients and/or low-income (<200 FPL) dentally uninsured patients who will be provided care at reduced rates or free-of-charge. Low-income patients may include participants in the Nemours Dental Outreach program and the Vocational Rehabilitation program administered through the Delaware Division of Public Health. Unannounced audits of office scheduling records may be made periodically by Loan Repayment officials.
  • All non-dental clinicians must agree to participate in the Delaware Community Healthcare Access Program (CHAP) and the Voluntary Initiative Program Phase II (VIP II) sponsored by the Medical Society of Delaware. CHAP provides low cost or no cost primary care "medical homes" to individuals who are ineligible for the Diamond State Health Plan or the Delaware Healthy Children Program, yet within established income limits. Enrollment in CHAP also provides eligible individuals with access to a statewide network of medical subspecialty services. Other benefits currently under negotiation include discounted lab and x-ray services, and pharmaceuticals. CHAP recipients receive discounted medical services based upon their income. VIP II is a statewide network of private physicians who accept CHAP patients into their practices and serve as their health home or provide medical subspecialty services. To enroll in VIP II, call Wheeler & Associates at (302)744-9267.

Application Review Process

Loan Repayment Applications are reviewed in three steps over the course of about one month.

  1. Loan Repayment Committee – preliminary review and recommendations
  2. Delaware Institute for Medical Education and Research (DIMER) for medical applicants
    Delaware Institute for Dental Education & Research (DIDER) for dental applicants
  3. Delaware Health Care Commission – final decision made and awards announced.
Applications DUE Applications REVIEWED Awards ANNOUNCED
Wednesday
November 6, 2013
Monday
November 18, 2013
Friday
January 17, 2014
Thursday
January 2, 2014
Monday
January 13, 2014
Friday
March 14, 2014
Thursday
April 3, 2014
Monday
April 14, 2014
Friday
June 13, 2014
Thursday
August 14, 2014
Monday
August 25, 2014
Tuesday
October 10, 2014
Thursday
October 23, 2014
Monday
November 3, 2014
Tuesday
January 16, 2015

Applications

Applications are accepted from practice sites and health professionals on a continuous basis. Interested persons should contact:

Loan Repayment Coordinator
Delaware Health Care Commission
Margaret O'Neill Building, Third Floor
410 Federal Street - Suite 7
Dover, DE  19901
Phone: (302) 739-2730
Fax: (302) 739-6927

Last Updated: Monday November 25 2013
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