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NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Rural Community Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is for providers working to combat the opioid epidemic in the nation’s rural communities.

The NHSC Rural Community LRP will make loan repayment awards in coordination with the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). This will provide evidence-based substance use treatment, assist in recovery, and prevent overdose deaths across the nation.

How do I receive award preference?

Apply for your DATA 2000 waiver with free Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) training (the course is optional for physicians treating 30 patients or fewer) to receive award preference. 

Which loan repayment program fits me best?

Compare our NHSC loan repayment programs — then choose the right one for you.

Determine Your Eligibility | Sites | How to Apply

Determine Your Eligibility

Do I qualify for the NHSC Rural Community LRP?

Yes, you qualify if you are:

  • A United States citizen (U.S. born or naturalized) or the United States national;
  • A provider (or eligible to participate as a provider) in the Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, as appropriate;
  • Fully trained and licensed to practice in the NHSC-eligible primary care medical, or mental/behavioral health discipline and state in which you are applying to serve;
  • A health professional in an eligible discipline with qualified student loan debt for education that led to your degree
  • Working, or have accepted a position, at a rural NHSC-approved SUD treatment facility. (Facilities that have received RCORP funding will receive preference); and
  • Using either your rural* NHSC-approved facility’s Mental Health or Primary Care HPSA score.

*Use the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer to find out what NHSC-approved SUD treatment facilities we consider rural.

*If you use assistive technology, you may not be able to access information in these files. For help, contact us at 800-221-9393.

What is an NHSC-approved site?

An NHSC-approved site is a health care facility. It:

  • Provides complete outpatient services to people living in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)
  • Meets NHSC site eligibility requirements and qualifications.

What is an NHSC-approved SUD site?

Facilities must meet requirements in:

How to Apply

We guide you through the application and award process:

To apply for the NHSC Rural Community LRP, you must understand and follow our requirements.

Before You Apply

It takes three weeks to complete an application. This includes required and supplemental documentation.

Provide answers in your application that match your supporting documents. If they don’t, we’ll reject your application.

You must submit a legible, complete online application by the deadline.

How can my application receive priority?

You will receive priority if you:

  • Serve at an Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) Consortium Member facility;
  • Have an X-waiver;
  • Have a license or certification in substance use disorder interventions, such as master’s-level substance use disorder counselors.

What makes an application complete?

You must include:

  • Online application;
  • Required supporting documents; and
  • Additional supplemental documentation (if applicable).

Application Requirements

Our complete set of requirements and instructions are in the application and program guidance.

After You Apply

You’ll see a receipt of submission pop-up when you submit your online application.

How can I view my application and its status?

Log into the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) Customer Service Portal. You can view the status of your application, download a copy of your application, supporting documents, and completed EVs.

Can I make edits after I submit my application?

Once you submit the online application, you may make edits, upload new documents, etc. Resubmit your final, complete application by the application deadline.

Can I withdraw my application?

Yes, you may withdraw your application from consideration any time before the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS), or their designee, signs the contract.

How do you evaluate me?

We begin our review of all applications after the application deadline passes.

We use selection factors and funding priorities to evaluate you and determine who receives awards.

The NHSC Rural Community LRP also has award priority factors.

Notifying Award Finalists

If you become an award finalist, we will email you and ask that you log into the BHW Customer Service Portal.

We will ask you to confirm:

  • Your continued interest in receiving an award.
  • The validity of the loan and employment information you provided us in your application.
  • That you have read and understand the LRP contract. (We ask you to sign this if you receive, and accept an award.)

We ask you to provide:

Your direct deposit banking information. We use this for award funds if you receive an award.

Note: You must respond by the deadline we provide in the Confirmation of Interest email.

What if I don’t respond in time?

If you don't complete the Confirmation of Interest process by the deadline, we may withdraw your application from consideration.

If you still wish to participate in the program, you will need to submit a new application during a future NHSC Rural Community LRP application cycle for first-time participants. You will compete with other providers based on that cycle’s program requirements.

Who makes award determinations?

Only the Secretary of HHS or their designee can make an NHSC Rural Community LRP award.

When will you notify me of an award?

You will receive final notification of an award, including your service obligation dates, no later than September 30.

Will you notify me if you don't select me for an award?

Yes. If we don't select you for an award, we will email you no later than September 30.

NHSC Loan Repayment Contract & Service Obligation

When does my service obligation begin?

Your NHSC Rural Community LRP service obligation begins on the date that the HHS Secretary (or the Secretary's designee) countersigns your contract.

Can I terminate my contract?

The APG and your contract explain the timeline and requirements for terminating an NHSC Rural Community LRP contract. If you terminate, you must repay all funds you receive under the contract.

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