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H.R. 4017 (ih) To reimpose the prohibition on the export of Alaskan North Slope crude oil. [Introduced in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4016

To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the education and 
   training of allied health professionals in exchange for a service 
                  commitment, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 23, 2004

 Mr. Stearns (for himself and Mr. Strickland) introduced the following 
    bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the education and 
   training of allied health professionals in exchange for a service 
                  commitment, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Allied Health Professions 
Reinvestment Act of 2004''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds as follows:
            (1) The Bureau of the Census, the Institute of Medicine, 
        the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and State hospital associations 
        highlight the increased demand for acute and chronic health 
        care services among both the general population and a rapidly 
        growing aging portion of the population.
            (2) The calls for reduction in medical errors, increased 
        patient safety, and increased quality of care have resulted in 
        an amplified call for allied health professionals to provide 
        health care services.
            (3) Several allied health professions are characterized by 
        workforce shortages, declining enrollments in allied health 
        education programs, or a combination of both factors, and 
        hospital officials have reported vacancy rates in positions 
        occupied by allied health professionals.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 799B of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 295p) is 
amended--
            (1) by redesignating paragraphs (5) through (11) as 
        paragraphs (6) through (12), respectively; and
            (2) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following:
            ``(5) Allied health profession.--The term `allied health 
        profession' means any profession practiced by an individual in 
        his or her capacity as an allied health professional.''.

SEC. 4. ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONS.

    (a) Amendment.--Title VII of the Public Health Service Act (42 
U.S.C. 292 et seq.) is amended--
            (1) by redesignating part F as part G; and
            (2) by adding after part E the following:

                        ``PART F--ALLIED HEALTH

``SEC. 780. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS.

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary shall develop and issue public 
service announcements that advertise and promote the allied health 
professions, highlight the advantages and rewards of allied health 
professions, and encourage individuals to enter the allied health 
professions.
    ``(b) Method.--The public service announcements described in 
subsection (a) shall be broadcast through appropriate media outlets, 
including television or radio, and other methods approved by the 
Secretary in a manner intended to reach as wide and diverse an audience 
as possible.

``SEC. 780A. STATE AND LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS.

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary may award grants to eligible 
entities to support State and local advertising campaigns through 
appropriate media outlets to promote the allied health professions and 
highlight the advantages and rewards of the allied health professions.
    ``(b) Use of Funds.--An eligible entity that receives a grant under 
subsection (a) shall use funds received through such grant to acquire 
local television and radio time, place advertisements in local 
newspapers, or post information on billboards or on the Internet in a 
manner intended to reach as wide and diverse an audience as possible, 
in order to--
            ``(1) advertise and promote the allied health professions;
            ``(2) promote allied health professions education programs;
            ``(3) inform the public of financial assistance regarding 
        such education programs;
            ``(4) highlight individuals in the community who are 
        practicing allied health professions in order to recruit new 
        allied health professionals; or
            ``(5) provide any other information to recruit individuals 
        for the allied health professions.
    ``(c) Limitation.--An eligible entity that receives a grant under 
subsection (a) shall not use funds received through such grant to 
advertise particular employment opportunities.
    ``(d) Eligible Entity.--For purposes of this section, the term 
`eligible entity' means an entity that is--
            ``(1) a professional, national, or State allied health 
        association;
            ``(2) a State health care provider; or
            ``(3) an association of entities that are each a health 
        care facility, an allied health education program, or an entity 
        that provides similar services or serves a like function.

``SEC. 780B. SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.

    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary may carry out a program of 
entering into contracts with eligible individuals under which such 
individuals agree to serve as allied health professionals for the 
period described in subsection (e) at a health care facility with a 
critical shortage of allied health professionals, in consideration of 
the Federal Government agreeing to provide to the individuals 
scholarships for the cost of tuition at schools of allied health in 
allied health professions curricula.
    ``(b) Eligible Individuals.--For purposes of this section, the term 
`eligible individual' means an individual who is enrolled or accepted 
for enrollment as a full-time or part-time student in a school of 
allied health.
    ``(c) Selection.--In awarding scholarships under this section, the 
Secretary shall select a range of full-time and part-time students 
enrolled in a certificate, associate, bachelor's, or graduate program.
    ``(d) Amount.--The amount of a scholarship to an eligible 
individual under this section may not exceed $10,000 for any academic 
year.
    ``(e) Service Requirement.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may not enter into a 
        contract with an eligible individual under this section unless 
        the individual agrees to serve as an allied health professional 
        at a health care facility with a critical shortage of allied 
        health professionals for a period of full-time service of not 
        less than 1 year for each academic year for which the 
        individual receives a scholarship under this section, or for a 
        period of part-time service in accordance with paragraph (2).
            ``(2) Part-time service.--An individual may complete the 
        period of service described in paragraph (1) on a part-time 
        basis if the individual has a written agreement that--
                    ``(A) is entered into by the facility and the 
                individual and is approved by the Secretary; and
                    ``(B) provides that the period of obligated service 
                will be extended so that the aggregate amount of 
                service performed will equal the amount of service that 
                would be performed through a period of full-time 
                service described in paragraph (1).
    ``(f) Applicability of Certain Provisions.--The provisions of 
subpart III of part D of title III shall, except as inconsistent with 
this section, apply to the program established in this section in the 
same manner and to the same extent as such provisions apply to the 
National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program established in such 
subpart.
    ``(g) Reports.--Not later than 18 months after the date of the 
enactment of this section, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall 
prepare and submit to the Congress a report describing the program 
carried out under this section, including statements regarding--
            ``(1) the number of enrollees, scholarships, and grant 
        recipients;
            ``(2) the number of graduates;
            ``(3) the amount of scholarship payments made;
            ``(4) which educational institution the recipients 
        attended;
            ``(5) the number and placement location of the scholarship 
        recipients at health care facilities with a critical shortage 
        of allied health professionals;
            ``(6) the default rate and actions required;
            ``(7) the amount of outstanding default funds of the 
        scholarship program;
            ``(8) to the extent that it can be determined, the reason 
        for the default;
            ``(9) the demographics of the individuals participating in 
        the scholarship program; and
            ``(10) an evaluation of the overall costs and benefits of 
        the program.

``SEC. 780C. ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONS EDUCATION, PRACTICE, AND 
              RETENTION GRANTS.

    ``(a) Education Priority Areas.--The Secretary may award grants to, 
and enter into contracts with, eligible entities for--
            ``(1) expanding the enrollment in allied health professions 
        programs;
            ``(2) developing and implementing internship and residency 
        programs to encourage mentoring and the development of 
        specialties and training for new or emerging public health 
        needs;
            ``(3) providing education in new technologies, including 
        distance learning methodologies; or
            ``(4) developing grant awards to colleges and universities 
        to promote development of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral 
        degree programs for allied health professions faculty.
    ``(b) Practice Priority Areas.--The Secretary may award grants to, 
and enter into contracts with, eligible entities for--
            ``(1) establishing or expanding allied health professions 
        practice arrangements in noninstitutional settings to 
        demonstrate methods to improve access to primary health care in 
        medically underserved communities;
            ``(2) providing care for underserved populations and other 
        high-risk groups and individuals with chronic conditions;
            ``(3) providing managed care, quality improvement, and 
        other skills needed to practice in existing and emerging 
        organized health care systems; or
            ``(4) developing cultural competencies among allied health 
        professionals.
    ``(c) Retention Priority Areas.--The Secretary may award grants to, 
and enter into contracts with, eligible entities to enhance the allied 
health professions workforce by initiating and maintaining allied 
health profession retention programs--
            ``(1) to promote career advancement for allied health 
        professions personnel in a variety of training settings, 
        including cross training or specialty training among diverse 
        population groups; or
            ``(2) to assist individuals in obtaining education and 
        training required to enter the allied health professions and 
        advance within such professions, such as by providing career 
        counseling and mentoring.
    ``(d) Other Priority Areas.--The Secretary may award grants to, and 
enter into contracts with, eligible entities--
            ``(1) to study and advance the measurement of health 
        outcomes relevant to the allied health professions; or
            ``(2) to address other issues that are of high priority to 
        allied health professional education, practice, and retention, 
        as determined by the Secretary.
    ``(e) Report.--The Secretary shall submit to the Congress before 
the end of each fiscal year a report on the grants awarded and the 
contracts entered into under this section. Each such report shall 
identify the overall number of such grants and contracts and provide an 
explanation of why each such grant or contract will meet the priority 
need of the workforce.
    ``(f) Eligible Entity.--For purposes of this section, the term 
`eligible entity' includes a school of allied health, a health care 
facility, or a partnership of such a school and a facility.

``SEC. 780D. COMPREHENSIVE GERIATRIC EDUCATION.

    ``(a) Program Authorized.--The Secretary may award grants to 
eligible entities to develop and implement, in coordination with 
programs under section 753, programs and initiatives to train and 
educate allied health professionals in providing geriatric care for the 
elderly.
    ``(b) Use of Funds.--An eligible entity that receives a grant under 
subsection (a) shall use funds under such grant to--
            ``(1) provide training to allied health professionals who 
        will provide geriatric care for the elderly;
            ``(2) disseminate curricula relating to the treatment of 
        the health problems of elderly individuals;
            ``(3) train allied health professions faculty members in 
        geriatrics; or
            ``(4) provide continuing education to allied health 
        professionals who provide geriatric care.
    ``(c) Application.--An eligible entity desiring a grant under 
subsection (a) shall submit an application to the Secretary at such 
time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary 
may reasonably require.
    ``(d) Eligible Entity.--For purposes of this section, the term 
`eligible entity' includes a school of allied health, a health care 
facility, or a partnership of such a program and facility.

``SEC. 780E. ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONS FACULTY LOAN PROGRAM.

    ``(a) Establishment.--The Secretary, acting through the 
Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, may 
enter into an agreement with any institution of higher education for 
the establishment and operation of a student loan fund in accordance 
with this section, to increase the number of qualified allied health 
professions faculty.
    ``(b) Agreements.--Each agreement entered into under this section 
shall--
            ``(1) provide for the establishment of a student loan fund 
        by the institution of higher education involved;
            ``(2) provide for deposit in the fund of--
                    ``(A) the Federal capital contributions to the 
                fund;
                    ``(B) an amount equal to not less than one-ninth of 
                such Federal capital contributions, contributed by such 
                institution;
                    ``(C) collections of principal and interest on 
                loans made from the fund; and
                    ``(D) any other earnings of the fund;
            ``(3) provide that the fund will be used only for loans to 

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