Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 3177 (is) To require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish minimum nursing staff levels for nursing facilities, to provide for grants to improve the quality of care furnished in nursing facilities, and for other purposes. [Introduced...

S. 3177 (is) To require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish minimum nursing staff levels for nursing facilities, to provide for grants to improve the quality of care furnished in nursing facilities, and for other purposes. [Introduced...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3176

  To conduct a demonstration program to show that physician shortage, 
recruitment, and retention problems may be ameliorated in rural States 
  by developing a comprehensive program that will result in statewide 
                      physician population growth.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

            October 6 (legislative day, September 22), 2000

Mr. Bingaman (for himself, Mr. Domenici, and Mr. Conrad) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                                Finance

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To conduct a demonstration program to show that physician shortage, 
recruitment, and retention problems may be ameliorated in rural States 
  by developing a comprehensive program that will result in statewide 
                      physician population growth.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Rural States 
Physician Recruitment and Retention Demonstration Act of 2000''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
Sec. 3. Rural States Physician Recruitment and Retention Demonstration 
                            Program.
Sec. 4. Establishment of the Health Professions Database.
Sec. 5. Evaluation and reports.
Sec. 6. Contracting flexibility.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) COGME.--The term ``COGME'' means the Council on 
        Graduate Medical Education established under section 762 of the 
        Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 294o).
            (2) Demonstration program.--The term ``demonstration 
        program'' means the Rural States Physician Recruitment and 
        Retention Demonstration Program established by the Secretary 
        under section 3(a).
            (3) Demonstration states.--The term ``demonstration 
        States'' means the 2 States selected by the Secretary that, 
        based upon 1998 data, have--
                    (A) an uninsured population above 20 percent (as 
                determined by the Bureau of the Census);
                    (B) a population eligible for medical assistance 
                under the medicaid program under title XIX of the 
                Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.) above 17 
                percent (as determined by the Health Care Financing 
                Administration);
                    (C) an unemployment rate above 4.8 percent (as 
                determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics);
                    (D) an average per capita income below $21,200 (as 
                determined by the Bureau of Economic Analysis); and
                    (E) a geographic practice cost indices component of 
                the reimbursement rate for physicians under the 
                medicare program that is below the national average (as 
                determined by the Health Care Financing 
                Administration).
            (4) Eligible residency or fellowship graduate.--The term 
        ``eligible residency or fellowship graduate'' means a graduate 
        of an approved medical residency training program (as defined 
        in section 1886(h)(5)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
        1395ww(h)(5)(A))) in a shortage physician specialty.
            (5) Health professions database.--The term ``Health 
        Professions Database'' means the database established under 
        section 4(a).
            (6) Medicare program.--The term ``medicare program'' means 
        the health benefits program under title XVIII of the Social 
        Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.).
            (7) MedPAC.--The term ``MedPAC'' means the Medicare Payment 
        Advisory Commission established under section 1805 of the 
        Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395b-6).
            (8) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Health and Human Services.
            (9) Shortage physician specialties.--The term ``shortage 
        physician specialty'' means a medical or surgical specialty 
        identified in a demonstration State by the Secretary based on--
                    (A) an analysis and comparison of National data and 
                demonstration State data; and
                    (B) recommendations from appropriate Federal, 
                State, and private commissions, centers, councils, 
                medical and surgical physician specialty boards, and 
                medical societies or associations involved in physician 
                workforce, education and training, and payment issues.

SEC. 3. RURAL STATES PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION DEMONSTRATION 
              PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a Rural 
        States Physician Recruitment and Retention Demonstration 
        Program for the purpose of ameliorating physician shortage, 
        recruitment, and retention problems in rural States in 
        accordance with the requirements of this section.
            (2) Consultation.--For purposes of establishing the 
        demonstration program, the Secretary shall consult with--
                    (A) COGME;
                    (B) MedPAC;
                    (C) a representative of each demonstration State 
                medical society or association;
                    (D) the health workforce planning and physician 
                training authority of each demonstration State; and
                    (E) any other entity described in section 2(9)(B).
    (b) Duration.--The Secretary shall conduct the demonstration 
program for a period of 10 years.
    (c) Conduct of Program.--
            (1) Funding of additional residency and fellowship 
        positions.--
                    (A) In general.--As part of the demonstration 
                program, the Secretary (acting through the 
                Administrator of the Health Care Financing 
                Administration) shall--
                            (i) waive any limitation under section 1886 
                        of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395ww) 
                        with respect to the number of residency and 
                        fellowship positions;
                            (ii) increase by up to 15 percent of the 
                        total number residency and fellowship positions 
                        approved at each medical residency training 
                        program in each demonstration State the number 
                        of residency and fellowships in each shortage 
                        physician specialty; and
                            (iii) subject to subparagraph (C), provide 
                        funding for such additional positions under 
                        subsections (d)(5)(B) and (h) of section 1886 
                        of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395ww).
                    (B) Establishment of additional positions.--
                            (i) Identification.--The Secretary shall 
                        identify each additional residency and 
                        fellowship position created as a result of the 
                        application of subparagraph (A).
                            (ii) Negotiation and consultation.--The 
                        Secretary shall negotiate and consult with 
                        representatives of each approved medical 
                        residency training program in a demonstration 
                        State at which a position identified under 
                        clause (i) is created for purposes of 
                        supporting such position.
                    (C) Contracts with residents and fellows.--
                            (i) In general.--The Secretary shall 
                        condition the availability of funding for each 
                        residency and fellowship position identified 
                        under subparagraph (B)(i) on the execution of a 
                        contract containing the provisions described in 
                        clause (ii) by each individual accepting such a 
                        residency or fellowship position.
                            (ii) Provisions described.--The provisions 
                        described in this clause provide that, upon 
                        completion of the residency or fellowship, the 
                        individual completing such residency or 
                        fellowship will practice in the demonstration 
                        State in which such residency or fellowship was 
                        completed that is designated by the contract 
                        for 1 year for each year of training under the 
                        residency or fellowship in the demonstration 
                        State.
                            (iii) Construction.--The period that the 
                        individual practices in the area designated by 
                        the contract shall be in addition to any period 
                        that such individual practices in an area 
                        designated under a contract executed pursuant 
                        to paragraph (2)(C).
                    (D) Limitations.--
                            (i) Period of payment.--The Secretary may 
                        not fund any residency of fellowship position 
                        identified under subparagraph (B)(i) for a 
                        period of more than 5 years.
                            (ii) Phase-out of program.--The Secretary 
                        may not enter into any contract under 
                        subparagraph (C) after the date that is 5 years 
                        after the date on which the Secretary 
                        establishes the demonstration program.
            (2) Loan repayment and forgiveness program.--
                    (A) In general.--As part of the demonstration 
                program, the Secretary (acting through the 
                Administrator of Health Resources and Services 
                Administration) shall establish a loan repayment and 
                forgiveness program, through the holder of the loan, 
                under which the Secretary assumes the obligation to 
                repay a qualified loan amount for an educational loan 
                of an eligible residency or fellowship graduate--
                            (i) for which the Secretary has approved an 
                        application submitted under subparagraph (D); 
                        and
                            (ii) with which the Secretary has entered 
                        into a contract under subparagraph (C).
                    (B) Qualified loan amount.--
                            (i) In general.--Subject to clause (ii), 
                        the Secretary shall repay not more than $25,000 
                        per graduate per year of the loan obligation on 
                        a loan that is outstanding during the period 
                        that the eligible residency or fellowship 
                        graduate practices in the area designated by 
                        the contract entered into under subparagraph 
                        (C).
                            (ii) Limitation.--The aggregate amount 
                        under this subparagraph shall not exceed 
                        $125,000 for any graduate and the Secretary may 
                        not repay or forgive more than 30 loans per 
year in each demonstration State under this paragraph.
                    (C) Contracts with residents and fellows.--
                            (i) In general.--Each eligible residency or 
                        fellowship graduate desiring repayment of a 
                        loan under this paragraph shall execute a 
                        contract containing the provisions described in 
                        clause (ii).
                            (ii) Provisions.--The provisions described 
                        in this clause are provisions that require the 
                        eligible residency or fellowship graduate to 
                        practice in a demonstration State during the 
                        period in which a loan is being repaid or 
                        forgiven under this section.
                    (D) Application.--
                            (i) In general.--Each eligible residency or 
                        fellowship graduate desiring repayment of a 
                        loan under this paragraph shall submit an 
                        application to the Secretary at such time, in 
                        such manner, and accompanied by such 
                        information as the Secretary may reasonably 
                        require.
                            (ii) Phase-out of loan repayment and 
                        forgiveness program.--The Secretary may not 
                        accept an application for repayment of any loan 
                        under this paragraph after the date that is 5 
                        years after the date on which the demonstration 
                        program is established.
                    (E) Construction.--Nothing in the section shall be 
                construed to authorize any refunding of any repayment 
                of a loan.
                    (F) Prevention of double benefits.--No borrower 
                may, for the same service, receive a benefit under both 
                this paragraph and any loan repayment or forgiveness 
                program under title VII of the Public Health Service 
                Act (42 U.S.C. 292 et seq.).
    (d) Waiver of Medicare Requirements.--The Secretary is authorized 
to waive any requirement of the medicare program, or approve equivalent 
or alternative ways of meeting such a requirement, if such waiver is 
necessary to carry out the demonstration program, including the waiver 
of any limitation on the amount of payment or number of residents under 
section 1886 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395ww).
    (e) Appropriations.--
            (1) Funding of additional residency and fellowship 
        positions.--Any expenditures resulting from the establishment 
        of the funding of additional residency and fellowship positions 
        under subsection (c)(1) shall be made from the Federal Hospital 
        Insurance Trust Fund under section 1817 of the Social Security 
        Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i).
            (2) Loan repayment and forgiveness program.--There are 
        authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to 
        carry out the loan repayment and forgiveness program 
        established under subsection (c)(2).

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS DATABASE.

    (a) Establishment of the Health Professions Database.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 7 months after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary (acting through the 
        Administrator of Health Resources and Services Administration) 
        shall establish a State-specific health professions database to 
        track health professionals in each demonstration State with 
        respect to specialty certifications, practice characteristics, 
        professional licensure, practice types, locations, education, 
        training, as well as obligations under the demonstration 
        program as a result of the execution of a contract under 
        paragraph (1)(C) or (2)(C) of section 3(c).
            (2) Data sources.--In establishing the Health Professions 
        Database, the Secretary shall use the latest available data 
        from existing health workforce files, including the AMA Master 
        File, State databases, specialty medical society data sources 
        and information, and such other data points as may be 
        recommended by COGME, MedPAC, the National Center for Workforce 
        Information and Analysis, or the medical society of the 

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