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September 19, 2019
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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 381
PUBLIC HEALTH: GENERAL PROVISIONS
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F.S. 381.4019
381.4019 Dental Student Loan Repayment Program.The Dental Student Loan Repayment Program is established to promote access to dental care by supporting qualified dentists who treat medically underserved populations in dental health professional shortage areas or medically underserved areas.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dental health professional shortage area” means a geographic area designated as such by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
(b) “Department” means the Department of Health.
(c) “Loan program” means the Dental Student Loan Repayment Program.
(d) “Medically underserved area” means a geographic area, an area having a special population, or a facility which is designated by department rule as a health professional shortage area as defined by federal regulation and which has a shortage of dental health professionals who serve Medicaid recipients and other low-income patients.
(e) “Public health program” means a county health department, the Children’s Medical Services program, a federally funded community health center, a federally funded migrant health center, or other publicly funded or nonprofit health care program designated by the department.
(2) The department shall establish a dental student loan repayment program to benefit Florida-licensed dentists who demonstrate, as required by department rule, active employment in a public health program that serves Medicaid recipients and other low-income patients and is located in a dental health professional shortage area or a medically underserved area.
(3) The department shall award funds from the loan program to repay the student loans of a dentist who meets the requirements of subsection (2).
(a) An award may not exceed $50,000 per year per eligible dentist.
(b) Only loans to pay the costs of tuition, books, dental equipment and supplies, uniforms, and living expenses may be covered.
(c) All repayments are contingent upon continued proof of eligibility and must be made directly to the holder of the loan. The state bears no responsibility for the collection of any interest charges or other remaining balances.
(d) A dentist may receive funds under the loan program for at least 1 year, up to a maximum of 5 years.
(e) The department shall limit the number of new dentists participating in the loan program to not more than 10 per fiscal year.
(4) A dentist is no longer eligible to receive funds under the loan program if the dentist:
(a) Is no longer employed by a public health program that meets the requirements of subsection (2).
(b) Ceases to participate in the Florida Medicaid program.
(c) Has disciplinary action taken against his or her license by the Board of Dentistry for a violation of s. 466.028.
(5) The department shall adopt rules to administer the loan program.
(6) Implementation of the loan program is subject to legislative appropriation.
History.s. 2, ch. 2019-138.