Idaho has selected 16 rural health care providers for student loan subsidies. One is the only provider in the area.

BOISE — People come to Boundary Community Hospital from across the remote, underserved, rural communities of Northern Idaho. The hospital has one rural clinic that provides primary care and basic mental health care.

“Our organization has very limited funding and resources, and it is very difficult to recruit and retain health care workers in this field,” said a hospital official, who recently learned that rural health care providers are taking out student loans. I wrote it in my application for a grant to help me pay it back.

The hospital has undergone “significant changes” and has lost a medical director and a nurse, they wrote. They wrote that the only providers available to see patients at the clinic were physician assistants who were facing the financial burden of student loans.

The Idaho Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that the physician assistant is one of 16 health care providers to receive federal subsidies for student loans.

The program provides a financial incentive to educated health care professionals to stay in Idaho, and data shows that nearly every county has a critical need for medical and mental health providers. there is

Grant recipients include:

  • Three psychologists working for the Blackfoot (including the National Behavioral Health Hospital)
  • Two Psychiatrists Offering Treatment in Boise
  • Nursing practitioners in Soda Springs and Montpelier.Isolation and harsh weather make it difficult to hire and retain health care providers
  • A long-time doctor at Salmon’s critical care hospital

An application from Caribou Memorial Hospital in Soda Springs said, “Our facility is facing overall staffing shortages.” “The retention incentives we can offer clinicians are very helpful in retaining these important staff members.”

This award is from the State Loan Repayment Program (up to $25,000 annually over two years), which provides repayment assistance up to $50,000 for student loans. The program is intended to incentivize healthcare workers to stay in areas with little or no healthcare workers.

To qualify for a federally funded program, a healthcare provider must not be receiving loan repayment assistance through another program. You must also work 40 hours a week, 45 weeks a year, in a hospital, clinic, or other facility where Medicare or Medicaid is accepted and where low-income and uninsured patients can pay on a sliding-rate basis. not.

“Idaho’s rural health workers serve vulnerable populations and are often hours away from the nearest urban center,” said Gina, director of the Idaho Department of Rural Health and Primary Care.・Panel said in a news release about the grant. “This can make it difficult to recruit and retain qualified clinicians. The State Loan Repayment Program will help Idahoans have access to services closer to home.”

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