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U.S. Department of Education needs to hear from doctors now about loan forgiveness

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August 2, 2022
Areas of interest: advocacy doctor workforce

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education released draft regulations to reform the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Despite the department’s interest in amending his existing PSLF rule (which inadvertently precludes many doctors in California and Texas from participating), the draft regulation text has inexplicably failed to solve the problem.

California Medical Association (CMA) All physicians, residents and medical students must submit a letter to the Ministry of Education by August 12, 2022.urges them to allow qualified California and Texas physicians who provide care in private, nonprofit hospitals/clinics to receive federal student loan forgiveness.

The Department of Education is accepting comments on the draft rule until Friday, August 12. To demonstrate the urgency of this matter, we need to get as many letters from you as possible. The CMA has prepared a sample letter and instructions for submitting the letter through the Regulatory Comment Submission Portal. It only takes 3 minutes.

It is very important that the Department of Education solves this problem once and for all so that doctors in all 50 states can participate equally in this important program…underserved communities. If regulations are not amended to allow doctors in California and Texas to participate, doctors will choose to practice in other states where they can receive loan forgiveness, accelerating a worsening doctor shortage and making us the most vulnerable. It undermines our ability to care for patients in need.

Background

The PSLF program is designed to provide loan forgiveness to individuals who work full-time (30 hours per week) in a non-profit organization, such as a non-profit hospital, and engage in community service for 10 years by improving access to healthcare. was intended. Unfortunately, the program’s rules of conduct were narrowed to require doctors to be “directly employed.” As a result, many doctors in her two largest states in our country were inadvertently left out. Because they are members of the hospital’s medical staff, work full-time in a private, non-profit hospital/clinic, and may be able to meet all other her PSLF eligibility requirements, California Because it is prohibited by state and Texas law. These private, non-profit hospitals employ doctors. But the ban on employment by the law means that these California and Texas doctors are eligible for loan forgiveness, just as doctors in other 48 states who also work in private, nonprofit hospitals are eligible to participate. may be eligible for

The new draft regulation language seeks to solve the problem of requiring “direct employment” in California and Texas, instead replacing doctors with private, nonprofit hospitals “for the purpose of providing salary or similar services.” They are demanding to “contract” and receive loan forgiveness. Although well-meaning, the proposed regulation does not solve the problem, and doctors in California and Texas are still excluded because they do not contract with hospitals to provide payroll services. Additionally, many physicians in these states do not practice at contracted nonprofit hospitals and remain ineligible regardless of whether the contract was for payroll services.

The CMA, in collaboration with the California Hospital Association, the Texas Medical Association, and the Texas Hospital Association, is urging the Department to accept alternatives for physicians practicing in states that prohibit direct employment. Under this plan, physicians in California and Texas will have the authority of public service organizations (hospitals, clinics) to certify that physicians work full time (30 hours per week) in private, nonprofit facilities. Additional written certification from a given official may qualify you for the PSLF. Although approved through the Clinical Privilege Certification process, they cannot be employed at the facility due to state law. This is an additional criterion where California and Texas physicians are prohibited by state law from being directly employed and paid by the facility.

Act by August 12th

Join the CMA to send a powerful message that qualified California and Texas doctors must be able to participate in the Federal Loan Forgiveness Program to reverse the doctor shortage and protect access to health care. to the U.S. Department of Education. Click here to download a sample letter. Please note the following when sending a letter.

  • Update the CMA sample letter by specifying the medical student or physician on the first line highlighted in yellow and adding your name at the end. Feel free to leave your personal comments.
  • Click here to access the Department of Education’s Regulatory Comment Submission Portal.
  • Under Proposed Regulations: General Provisions of Student Support…”
    Click the “Comment” button.
  • Click “Comment/Write a comment”.
  • Copy the CMA sample letter and paste your name in the comment box.
  • Scroll down and enter your email address.
  • Click Personal and enter your personal information.
  • Click the “I’m not a robot” box.
  • Be sure to press “SUBMIT COMMENT” at the end.

Thank you for helping send a strong message to the Department of Education to ensure equal participation for doctors in all 50 states in this important program.

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