Rural Loan Repayment in Oregon Could Attract 96 Primary Care Providers

A bill in Oregon could restore a loan repayment program to assist primary care providers who would work in underserved areas of the state, according to The Lund Report.

The program, which ran from 1993 to 2008, was cut in 2009 due to the economic recession. The bill would bring back the program with a $4 million budget over two years, which could support MDs and DOs as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, psychologists, psychotherapists and social workers, according to the report.

According to The Lund Report, 33 of Oregon's 36 counties are underserved in primary care, and the problem is expected to worsen next year with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. If the bill passes, the program could bring as many as 96 providers to Oregon.

The bill has passed out of the state's Health Committee and was passed on to the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services, according to the report.

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