Under the Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program, approved practice sites located in a health provider shortage area (HPSA) must agree to match 50% of the total loan repayment award, plus a 10% administrative fee. Dentists and expanded-practice dental hygienists practicing full time under the program may receive up to 50% of their total student loan debt, up to a maximum of $35,000 annually for an initial two-year obligation. Practitioners who work part time may receive up to 50% in loan repayment on qualifying educational debt, up to a maximum of $17,500 per obligation year, for an initial four-year obligation. Providers may qualify for up to two one-year continuations beyond their initial service obligation and may receive up to 60% of their remaining qualified educational debt, up to a maximum of $35,000. The program limits providers to $100,000 maximum in total loan repayment funds.
Oregon Health Care Provider Loan Repayment provides loan repayment for dentists and expanded-practice dental hygienists who work at eligible sites located in HPSAs and serve patients regardless of their source of coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, private, etc.) or ability to pay. Full-time service providers must commit to a three-year minimum service obligation in exchange for a tax-free award of 50% of their qualifying educational loan debt balance, up to $50,000 per obligation year. Part-time service providers must commit to a three-year minimum service obligation in exchange for a tax-free award of 25% of their qualifying educational loan debt balance, up to $25,000 per obligation year.
The Oregon Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program is open to dentists, expanded-practice dental hygienists and other specified practitioners. Awardees receive up to $35,000 per year for a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years. In exchange, participants agree to serve Medicaid and other patients in a qualifying practice site. Qualifying sites include rural hospitals, rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers and other clinical practices located in HPSAs.
The Oregon Office of Rural Health is charged with administering the Rural Practitioner Tax Credit for Dentists Program, which grants up to $5,000 in personal income tax credits to eligible dentists who work in a county designated as a “frontier county,” or a town with a population less than 5,000 people that is also 25 or more miles from another source of full-time, general dental care. The amount of the credit varies based on the population size of the community and practice site distance from the centroid of a community. Eligible dentists must also have an annual adjusted gross income below $300,000, and attest to being willing to serve patients with Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The practitioner must accept patients insured by Medicare and Medicaid until their patient panel reaches a threshold of 20% Medicare and 15% Medicaid, or the same percentage as in the county population, if that percentage is less.
The Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative (SHOI) is administered by the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). SHOI covers tuition and fees for a limited number of eligible students entering specific clinical degree programs, including the D.M.D. program. In return, funding recipients agree to practice as a health care practitioner in a rural or underserved community in Oregon for a minimum of one year longer than the total years of funding received. SHOI funding is awarded annually, effective for one academic year with annual renewal if the student remains in good academic standing. The funding provides for payment of full OHSU tuition and required fees but does not provide a living allowance.