Establishes the nurse loan repayment program; authorizes the commissioner to award loan repayment awards to nurses serving in underserved areas or nursing homes.
BILL NUMBER:S6353 REVISED 02/02/12
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing the nurse loan repayment program
PURPOSE: Nursing homes face a shortage of Registered nurses per patient ratio. This bill will add nursing homes to the list of work locations to participate in the loan forgiveness program to help address this disparity.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill adds nurses working in nursing homes to expand the loan repayment program and authorizes the commissioner to make loan repayment awards beginning January 1, 2013.
JUSTIFICATION: According to the New York State Department of Health, approximately one in four New Yorkers - over five million people - live in health professional shortage areas, defined by the federal government as areas with less than one physician for every 3,500 residents. Of New York's 62 counties, 49 have areas with physician shortages. The shortages are seen in rural and inner city areas.
To help address these shortages, in 2008 the Legislature enacted the Doctors Across New York initiative as part of the budget. This program included the Physician Loan Repayment Program which provides up to $150,000 for physicians to use in repayment of educational debt in exchange for a five-year service obligation in an underserved area. This bill is designed to be an expansion of that program to include nurse practitioners working in underserved areas.
Due to pay differential, nursing homes throughout the State are faced with nursing shortages. Nursing homes are staffed with an inadequate ratio of registered nurses, putting patient safety at risk due to the disparity in pay that nursing homes can offer. This bill is meant to give assistance to those that would be willing to work in geriatric facilities, by adding them to the list of those eligible for the loan repayment program.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6353 IN SENATE January 31, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. JOHNSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing the nurse loan repayment program THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 2807-m of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 5-c to read as follows: 5-C. REGISTERED NURSE LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM. (A) BEGINNING JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN, THE COMMISSIONER IS AUTHORIZED, WITHIN AMOUNTS AVAILABLE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FIVE-A OF THIS SECTION, TO MAKE LOAN REPAYMENT AWARDS: (I) TO REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL NURSES OR OTHER LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSES SPECIALITIES DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER TO BE IN SHORT SUPPLY, LICENSED TO PRACTICE NURSING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-NINE OF THE EDUCATION LAW, WHO AGREE TO PRACTICE FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS IN AN UNDERSERVED AREA OR NURSING HOME, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER. SUCH REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL NURSE OR LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A LOAN REPAYMENT AWARD OF UP TO ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD DISTRIBUTED AS FOLLOWS: FIFTEEN PERCENT OF TOTAL LOAN DEBT NOT TO EXCEED TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST YEAR; FIFTEEN PERCENT OF TOTAL LOAN DEBT NOT TO EXCEED TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE SECOND YEAR; TWENTY PERCENT OF TOTAL LOAN DEBT NOT TO EXCEED THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE THIRD YEAR; AND TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF TOTAL LOAN DEBT NOT TO EXCEED THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER YEAR FOR THE FOURTH AND FIFTH YEARS OF PRACTICE IN SUCH AREA; AND (II) TO GENERAL HOSPITALS AND OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO ADMINIS- TER AS PART OF THEIR RECRUITMENT PACKAGES; PROVIDED THE LOAN REPAYMENT AWARDS SHALL BE ADMINISTERED CONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION. (B) LOAN REPAYMENT AWARDS MADE TO A REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL NURSE OR LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT EXCEED THE TOTAL QUALIFYING OUTSTANDING DEBT OF THE REGISTEREDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09770-03-2 S. 6353 2
PROFESSIONAL NURSE OR LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE FROM STUDENT LOANS TO COVER TUITION AND OTHER RELATED EDUCATIONAL EXPENSES, MADE BY OR GUARAN- TEED BY THE FEDERAL OR STATE GOVERNMENT, OR MADE BY A LENDING OR EDUCA- TIONAL INSTITUTION APPROVED UNDER TITLE IV OF THE FEDERAL HIGHER EDUCA- TION ACT. LOAN REPAYMENT AWARDS SHALL BE USED SOLELY TO REPAY SUCH OUTSTANDING DEBT. (C) ANY RECIPIENT OF FUNDS PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION WHO PRACTICES LESS THAN TWO YEARS IN AN UNDERSERVED AREA OR NURSING HOME, AS DETER- MINED BY THE COMMISSIONER, SHALL REPAY ALL FUNDS PAID IN AMOUNTS TO BE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION, AND SHALL NO LONGER BE ELIGIBLE FOR FUTURE PAYMENTS UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION. THE RATE OF INTEREST APPLIED SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER, BUT WILL NOT BE LESS THAN THE RATE OF INTEREST SET BY THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND FINANCE WITH RESPECT TO UNDERPAYMENTS OF PERSONAL INCOME TAX PURSUANT TO SECTION SIX HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR OF THE TAX LAW. (D) THE COMMISSIONER IS AUTHORIZED TO APPLY ANY FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR PURPOSES OF PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION FOR USE AS MATCHING FUNDS FOR FEDERAL GRANTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING STATES IN OPERATING LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAMS PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE HUNDRED THIRTY-EIGHT I OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT. (E) THE COMMISSIONER MAY, IN HIS OR HER SOLE DISCRETION, POSTPONE, CHANGE OR WAIVE THE SERVICE OBLIGATION SET FORTH IN SUBPARAGRAPH (I) OF PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.