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Research Letter
November 13, 2013

State Repayment Programs for Health Care Education Loans

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • 2Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 3Gerontology Institute, Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • 4Ms Goldberg worked at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, when this study’s survey was conducted
  • 5Dr Morgan worked in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, when this study’s survey was conducted
JAMA. 2013;310(18):1982-1984. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281644

Repayment of loans for health care education is a popular incentive among states to attract clinicians to underserved areas. As of 1996, 37 states offered loan repayment programs for primary care clinicians, co-sponsored loan repayment programs with the State Loan Repayment Program of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), or offered both programs.1 Seven states also offered direct financial incentive programs, which are like loan repayment programs but allow clinicians flexibility in using program funds. In this study, we identified all state loan repayment and direct financial incentive programs for health professionals of all types as of 2010, described changes in program numbers from 2007 to 2010 during the first years of the worldwide recession with tight state budgets, and characterized the disciplines and size of the collective workforce by state.

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