Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 107. STATEWIDE HEALTH PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT [127000 - 130070]

  ( Division 107 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 9. )

PART 3. HEALTH PROFESSIONS DEVELOPMENT [127750 - 128585]

  ( Part 3 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 9. )

CHAPTER 5.  Health Professions Education Foundation Programs [128330 - 128585]

  ( Heading of Chapter 5 amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 149, Sec. 4. )

ARTICLE 5. California Physician Corps Program [128550 - 128558]
  ( Article 5 added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 317, Sec. 5. )

128550.
  

(a) There is hereby established within the Health Professions Education Foundation, the California Physician Corps Program.

(b) Commencing July 1, 2006, both of the following programs shall be transferred from the Medical Board of California to the California Physician Corps Program within the foundation and operated pursuant to this article:

(1) The Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program.

(2) The Physician Volunteer Program developed by the Medical Board of California.

(c) The office may enter into an interagency agreement with the Medical Board of California to implement the transfer of programs as provided under subdivision (b).

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 317, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2006. Section operative July 1, 2006, pursuant to Section 128558.)

128551.
  

(a) It is the intent of this article that the Health Professions Education Foundation and the office provide the ongoing program management of the two programs identified in subdivision (b) of Section 128550 as a part of the California Physician Corps Program.

(b)  For purposes of subdivision (a), the foundation shall consult with the Medical Board of California, Office of Statewide Planning and Development, and shall establish and consult with an advisory committee of not more than seven members, that shall include two members recommended by the California Medical Association and may include other members of the medical community, including ethnic representatives, medical schools, health advocates representing ethnic communities, primary care clinics, public hospitals, and health systems, statewide agencies administering state and federally funded programs targeting underserved communities, and members of the public with expertise in health care issues.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 317, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2006. Section operative July 1, 2006, pursuant to Section 128558.)

128552.
  

For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Account” means the Medically Underserved Account for Physicians established within the Health Professions Education Fund pursuant to this article.

(b) “Foundation” means the Health Professions Education Foundation.

(c) “Fund” means the Health Professions Education Fund.

(d) “Medi-Cal threshold languages” means primary languages spoken by limited-English-proficient (LEP) population groups meeting a numeric threshold of 3,000, eligible LEP Medi-Cal beneficiaries residing in a county, 1,000 Medi-Cal eligible LEP beneficiaries residing in a single ZIP Code, or 1,500 LEP Medi-Cal beneficiaries residing in two contiguous ZIP Codes.

(e) “Medically underserved area” means an area defined as a health professional shortage area in Part 5 of Subchapter A of Chapter 1 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations or an area of the state where unmet priority needs for physicians exist as determined by the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission pursuant to Section 128225.

(f) “Medically underserved population” means the Medi-Cal program, Healthy Families Program, and uninsured populations.

(g) “Office” means the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).

(h) “Physician Volunteer Program” means the Physician Volunteer Registry Program established by the Medical Board of California.

(i) “Practice setting,” for the purposes of this article only, means either of the following:

(1) A community clinic as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1204 and subdivision (c) of Section 1206, a clinic owned or operated by a public hospital and health system, or a clinic owned and operated by a hospital that maintains the primary contract with a county government to fulfill the county’s role pursuant to Section 17000 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which is located in a medically underserved area and at least 50 percent of whose patients are from a medically underserved population.

(2) A physician owned and operated medical practice setting that provides primary care located in a medically underserved area and has a minimum of 50 percent of patients who are uninsured, Medi-Cal beneficiaries, or beneficiaries of another publicly funded program that serves patients who earn less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

(j) “Primary specialty” means family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics/gynecology.

(k) “Program” means the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program.

(l) “Selection committee” means a minimum three-member committee of the board, that includes a member that was appointed by the Medical Board of California.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 378, Sec. 1. (AB 565) Effective January 1, 2014.)

128553.
  

(a) Program applicants shall possess a current valid license to practice medicine in this state issued pursuant to Section 2050 of the Business and Professions Code or pursuant to the Osteopathic Act.

(b) The foundation and the office shall develop guidelines using the criteria specified in subdivision (c) for selection and placement of applicants. The foundation shall interpret the guidelines to apply to both osteopathic and allopathic physicians and surgeons.

(c) The guidelines shall meet all of the following criteria:

(1) Provide priority consideration to applicants that are best suited to meet the cultural and linguistic needs and demands of patients from medically underserved populations and who meet one or more of the following criteria:

(A) Speak a Medi-Cal threshold language.

(B) Come from an economically disadvantaged background.

(C) Have received significant training in cultural and linguistically appropriate service delivery.

(D) Have three years of experience providing health care services to medically underserved populations or in a medically underserved area, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 128552.

(E) Have recently obtained a license to practice medicine.

(2) Include a process for determining the needs for physician services identified by the practice setting and for ensuring that the practice setting meets the definition specified in subdivision (h) of Section 128552.

(3) Give preference to applicants who have completed a three-year residency in a primary specialty.

(4) Give preference to applicants who agree to practice in a medically underserved area, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 128552, and who agree to serve a medically underserved population.

(5) Give priority consideration to applicants from rural communities who agree to practice in a physician owned and operated medical practice setting as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 128552.

(6) Include a factor ensuring geographic distribution of placements.

(7) Provide priority consideration to applicants who agree to practice in a geriatric care setting and are trained in geriatrics, and who can meet the cultural and linguistic needs and demands of a diverse population of older Californians. On and after January 1, 2009, up to 15 percent of the funds collected pursuant to Section 2436.5 of the Business and Professions Code shall be dedicated to loan assistance for physicians and surgeons who agree to practice in geriatric care settings or settings that primarily serve adults over the age of 65 years or adults with disabilities.

(d) (1) The foundation may appoint a selection committee that provides policy direction and guidance over the program and that complies with the requirements of subdivision (l) of Section 128552.

(2) The selection committee may fill up to 20 percent of the available positions with program applicants from specialties outside of the primary care specialties.

(e) Program participants shall meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Shall be working in or have a signed agreement with an eligible practice setting.

(2) Shall have full-time status at the practice setting. Full-time status shall be defined by the board and the selection committee may establish exemptions from this requirement on a case-by-case basis.

(3) Shall commit to a minimum of three years of service in a medically underserved area. Leaves of absence shall be permitted for serious illness, pregnancy, or other natural causes. The selection committee shall develop the process for determining the maximum permissible length of an absence and the process for reinstatement. Loan repayment shall be deferred until the physician is back to full-time status.

(f) The office shall adopt a process that applies if a physician is unable to complete his or her three-year obligation.

(g) The foundation, in consultation with those identified in subdivision (b) of Section 128551, shall develop a process for outreach to potentially eligible applicants.

(h) The foundation may recommend to the office any other standards of eligibility, placement, and termination appropriate to achieve the aim of providing competent health care services in approved practice settings.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 378, Sec. 2. (AB 565) Effective January 1, 2014.)

128554.
  

(a) Any regulation adopted by the Medical Board of California relating to the administration of the program or the Physician Volunteer Program shall remain in effect and shall be deemed to be a regulation of the office. The office may thereafter amend or repeal any part of those regulations or adopt any other regulations it deems appropriate to implement this article in accordance with the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(b) The adoption, amendment, repeal, or readoption of a regulation authorized by this section is deemed to be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code, and the office is hereby exempted from the requirement that it describe specific facts showing the need for immediate action. For purposes of subdivision (e) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code, the 120-day period, as applicable to the effective period of an emergency regulatory action and submission of specified materials to the Office of Administrative Law, is hereby extended to 180 days.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 317, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2006. Section operative July 1, 2006, pursuant to Section 128558.)

128555.
  

(a) The Medically Underserved Account for Physicians is hereby established within the Health Professions Education Fund. The primary purpose of this account is to provide funding for the ongoing operations of the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program provided for under this article. This account also may be used to provide funding for the Physician Volunteer Program provided for under this article.

(b) All moneys in the Medically Underserved Account contained within the Contingent Fund of the Medical Board of California shall be transferred to the Medically Underserved Account for Physicians on July 1, 2006.

(c) Funds in the account shall be used to repay loans as follows per agreements made with physicians:

(1) Funds paid out for loan repayment may have a funding match from foundations or other private sources.

(2) Loan repayments may not exceed one hundred five thousand dollars ($105,000) per individual licensed physician.

(3) Loan repayments may not exceed the amount of the educational loans incurred by the physician participant.

(d) Notwithstanding Section 11105 of the Government Code, effective January 1, 2006, the foundation may seek and receive matching funds from foundations and private sources to be placed in the account. “Matching funds” shall not be construed to be limited to a dollar-for-dollar match of funds.

(e) Funds placed in the account for purposes of this article, including funds received pursuant to subdivision (d), are, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, continuously appropriated for the repayment of loans. This subdivision shall not apply to funds placed in the account pursuant to Section 1341.45 and Section 14197.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(f) The account shall also be used to pay for the cost of administering the program and for any other purpose authorized by this article. The costs for administration of the program may be up to 5 percent of the total state appropriation for the program and shall be subject to review and approval annually through the state budget process. This limitation shall only apply to the state appropriation for the program.

(g) The office and the foundation shall manage the account established by this section prudently in accordance with the other provisions of law.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 768, Sec. 2. (SB 171) Effective January 1, 2018.)

128556.
  

The terms of loan repayment granted under this article shall be as follows:

(a) After a program participant has completed one year of providing services as a physician in a medically underserved area, up to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for loan repayment shall be provided.

(b) After a program participant has completed two consecutive years of providing services as a physician in a medically underserved area, an additional amount of loan repayment up to thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) shall be provided, for a total loan repayment of up to sixty thousand dollars ($60,000).

(c) After a program participant has completed three consecutive years of providing services as a physician in a medically underserved area, an additional amount of loan repayment up to forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000) shall be provided, for a total loan repayment of up to one hundred five thousand dollars ($105,000).

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 317, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2006. Section operative July 1, 2006, pursuant to Section 128558.)

128557.
  

(a) The foundation shall submit to the Legislature an annual report that includes all of the following:

(1) The number of program participants.

(2) The name and location of all practice settings with program participants.

(3) The amount expended for the program.

(4) Information on annual performance reviews by the practice settings and program participants.

(5) Status and statistics on the Physician Volunteer Program.

(b) The foundation shall include the information required in subdivision (a) in its annual report required pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 128345.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 317, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2006. Section operative July 1, 2006, pursuant to Section 128558.)

128558.
  

This article shall become operative on July 1, 2006.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 317, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2006. Note: This section prescribes a delayed operative date (July 1, 2006) for Article 5, commencing with Section 128550.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC5