A law was passed last legislative session adding a Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program to the existing ADHS State Student Loan Program for health professionals. The new law adds several disciplines to the list of folks who can qualify to participate in the program including behavioral health providers, behavioral health technicians, behavioral health nurse practitioners, psychiatric nurse practitioners, registered nurses, practical nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, or psychologists. Folks that qualify can have a generous portion of their student loans paid off if they serve in a behavioral health facility or the Arizona State Hospital.

Another change to the state student loan program makes folks eligible to participate if they work at an Indian Health Service facility, tribal or urban Indian health facilities that isn’t required to provide a sliding fee scale to be eligible.

ADHS has developed Administrative Code (Rule) changes to implement the new laws.  Whatever changes they adopt will be hard-wired into state code for many years so it’s essential that we examine the rules and make suggested changes while we can. This is an ‘emergency rulemaking’, meaning we have this one opportunity to examine the draft rules and make comments.

Comments are due in only 11 days: by January 22, 2023.

I especially urge those of you who have experienced the ‘back end’ of the student loan repayment program as a qualifying site or as a student to go through the rules and provide comments!

Here are the Proposed Draft Rules & a link to their Online Survey (Closes January 22, 2023).

I made the following suggested changes to the rules this morning adding an additional incentive for qualifying sites to donate to the State Loan Repayment Program (item number 6):

R9-15-104. Donations to a Loan Repayment Program

A person donating monies to a loan repayment program shall designate whether the donation may be used by the Department for either loan repayment allocations or for administrative costs associated with a loan repayment program or is to be used for loan repayment allocations for one or more of the following:

  1. The Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program, established according to A.R.S. § 36-2172;
  2. The Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program, established according to A.R.S. § 36-2174;
  3. The Behavioral Health Care Provider Loan Repayment Program, established according to A.R.S. § 36-2175;
  4. A specific type or types of primary care provider, behavioral health care provider, or other eligible individuals; or
  5. A specific county in Arizona; or
  6. A specific qualifying service site or sites.