2020 Session

Budget Amendments - SB30 (Committee Approved)

View Budget Item
View Budget Item amendments

Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program

Item 295 #2s

Item 295 #2s

First Year - FY2021 Second Year - FY2022
Health and Human Resources
Department of Health FY2021 $1,600,000 FY2022 $1,600,000 GF

Page 280, line 23, strike "$885,000" and insert "$2,485,000".
Page 280, line 23, strike "$885,000" and insert "$2,485,000".

Page 281, after line 3, insert:

"C.1. The Virginia Department of Health shall establish the Virginia Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program. Eligible practitioners include: psychiatrists, licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, child and adolescent psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurse practitioners. The program shall include a tiered incentive system as follows: (i) Tier I providers: child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists; and (ii) Tier II providers: licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors.
2. For each eligible year of service provided, the practitioner shall receive a year of applicable loan repayment award in return. Loan repayment checks will be submitted at the end of each year of service. Payments will be made directly to the lender. Practitioners must agree to a minimum of two years of practice for the behavioral health provider with the ability for two one-year renewals. The program shall require preference be given to applicants choosing to practice in underserved areas which must be a federally designated mental Health Professional Shortage Area or Medically Underserved Area within the Commonwealth. Practitioners are required to practice at Community Services Boards, behavioral health authorities, state mental health facilities, free clinics, federally qualified health centers and other similar health safety net organizations in order to be eligible for the program. The award amount is up to 25 percent of student loan debt, not to exceed $30,000 per year for Tier I professionals or $20,000 per year for Tier II professionals. In no instance shall the loan repayment exceed the total student loan debt.
3. No match contribution from practice sites or the community is required. Loan repayment awards shall be tax exempt.
4. The program shall have an Advisory Board, composed of representatives from stakeholder organizations and community members as determined by the department. The Advisory Board will meet annually and provide guidance regarding effective outreach and feedback on both programmatic processes and impact. The department shall provide an annual report to the Advisory Board on successes, challenges and opportunities with the program.
5. The Board of Health shall develop regulations consistent with this language in order for the department to administer the program."


(This amendment establishes the Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program in order to increase the number of Virginia behavioral health practitioners by way of an educational loan repayment incentive that complements and coordinates with existing efforts to recruit and retain Virginia behavioral health practitioners. The program would allow for a variety of behavioral health practitioners to receive a student loan repayment award from the Commonwealth in exchange for providing service to Virginia communities that are otherwise underserved. Practitioners would receive loan repayment for up to 25 percent of student loan debt for each year of health care service provided to the Commonwealth. Maximum loan repayment amounts per year are dependent upon the type of behavioral health professional applying and shall not exceed the total student loan debt. Participating practitioners will have an initial two-year minimum participation obligation and may renew for a third and fourth year. This provides the practitioner with the opportunity to fully pay off their student loan debt while providing four years of service to the Commonwealth.)