SENATE BILL 133
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Gerald Ortiz y Pino
RELATING TO HEALTH; AMENDING SECTIONS OF THE RURAL PRIMARY HEALTH CARE ACT TO CREATE A CLINICIAN LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 24-1A-1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1981, Chapter 295, Section 1) is amended to read:
"24-1A-1. SHORT TITLE.--[This act] Chapter 24, Article 1A NMSA 1978 may be cited as the "Rural Primary Health Care Act"."
SECTION 2. Section 24-1A-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1981, Chapter 295, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"24-1A-3. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Rural Primary Health Care Act:
A. "health care underserved areas" means a geographic area in which it has been determined by the department [of health], through the use of indices and other standards set by the department, that sufficient primary health care is not being provided to the citizens of that area;
B. "eligible programs" means nonprofit community-based entities that provide or commit to provide primary health care services for residents of health care underserved areas and includes rural health facilities and those serving primarily low-income populations;
C. "department" means the department of health; [and]
D. "eligible clinician" means:
(1) a medical doctor;
(2) an osteopathic physician;
(3) a physician assistant;
(4) a dentist;
(5) a dental hygienist;
(6) a dental therapist;
(7) a psychologist;
(8) an independent social worker;
(9) a master social worker;
(10) an art therapist;
(11) a licensed professional mental health counselor;
(12) a licensed clinical professional mental health counselor;
(13) an alcohol and drug abuse counselor;
(14) a substance abuse associate;
(15) a marriage and family therapist; or
(16) an associate marriage and family therapist;
E. "loan repayment program" means a program to provide a loan repayment incentive for eligible programs to recruit and hire eligible clinicians in accordance with the provisions of Subsection A of Section 24-1A-3.1 NMSA 1978; and
[D.] F. "primary health care" means the first level of basic or general health care for an individual's health needs, including diagnostic and treatment services."
SECTION 3. Section 24-1A-3.1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1983, Chapter 236, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"24-1A-3.1. DEPARTMENT--TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.--To the extent funds are made available for the purposes of the Rural Primary Health Care Act, the department is authorized to:
A. provide for a program to recruit [and retain health care personnel in] eligible clinicians for health care underserved areas through the creation of a loan repayment program pursuant to which, in accordance with department rules:
(1) the department commits funding to allow eligible programs to provide a loan repayment incentive to eligible clinicians that the eligible programs seek to recruit and hire;
(2) the department awards loan repayment funds to eligible clinicians who are newly hired employees of eligible programs; and
(3) the department remits loan repayment payments directly to educational lenders on behalf of the newly hired employees of eligible programs;
B. develop plans for and coordinate the efforts of other public and private entities assisting in the provision of primary health care services through eligible programs;
C. provide for technical assistance to eligible programs in the areas of administrative and financial management, clinical services, outreach and planning;
D. provide for distribution of financial assistance to and on behalf of eligible programs that have applied for and demonstrated a need for assistance in order to sustain a minimum level of delivery of primary health care services and recruit eligible clinicians under the loan repayment program; and
E. provide a program for enabling the development of new primary care health care services or facilities, and that program:
(1) shall give preference to communities that have few or no community-based primary care services;
(2) may require in-kind support from local communities where primary care health care services or facilities are established;
(3) may require primary care health care services or facilities to assure provision of health care to the medically indigent; and
(4) shall permit the implementation of innovative and creative uses of local or statewide health care resources, or both, other than those listed in Paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection."
SECTION 4. Section 24-1A-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1981, Chapter 295, Section 4, as amended) is amended to read:
"24-1A-4. RULES [AND REGULATIONS].--Subject to the State Rules Act, the department shall adopt rules [and regulations] for recruiting [health care personnel in] eligible clinicians for health care underserved areas and shall establish a formula for distribution of financial assistance to eligible programs [which] that shall take into account the relative needs of applicants for assistance; provided that funds may not be expended for land or facility acquisition or debt amortization; and further provided that a local match of ten percent shall be required from each local recipient for each request for assistance."
SECTION 5. APPROPRIATION.--Three million dollars ($3,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the department of health for expenditure in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 to fund the department's provision of loan repayment assistance for the recruitment and hiring of eligible clinicians in accordance with the provisions of Section 24-1A-3.1 NMSA 1978. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2021 shall revert to the general fund.
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