Establishment; composition; purpose; definitions
For the purpose of eliminating health manpower shortages in health professional shortage areas, there is established, within the Service, the National Health Service Corps, which shall consist of—
such officers of the Regular and Reserve Corps of the Service as the Secretary may designate,
such civilian employees of the United States as the Secretary may appoint, and
such other individuals who are not employees of the United States.
The Corps shall be utilized by the Secretary to provide primary health services in health professional shortage areas.
For purposes of this subpart and subpart III:
The term “Corps” means the National Health Service Corps.
The term “Corps member” means each of the officers, employees, and individuals of which the Corps consists pursuant to paragraph (1).
The term “primary health services” means health services regarding family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, dentistry, or mental health, that are provided by physicians or other health professionals.
The term “behavioral and mental health professionals” means health service psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurse specialists, and psychiatrists.
The term “graduate program of behavioral and mental health” means a program that trains behavioral and mental health professionals.
Recruitment and fellowship programs
The Secretary may conduct at schools of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, and, as appropriate, nursing and other schools of the health professions, including schools at which graduate programs of behavioral and mental health are offered, and at entities which train allied health personnel, recruiting programs for the Corps, the Scholarship Program, and the Loan Repayment Program. Such recruiting programs shall include efforts to recruit individuals who will serve in the Corps other than pursuant to obligated service under the Scholarship or Loan Repayment Program.
In the case of physicians, dentists, behavioral and mental health professionals, certified nurse midwives, certified nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who have an interest and a commitment to providing primary health care, the Secretary may establish fellowship programs to enable such health professionals to gain exposure to and expertise in the delivery of primary health services in health professional shortage areas. To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that any such programs are established in conjunction with accredited residency programs, and other training programs, regarding such health professions.
Monthly pay adjustments of members directly engaged in delivery of health services in health professional shortage area; “monthly pay” defined; monthly pay adjustment of member with service obligation incurred under Scholarship Program or Loan Repayment Program; personnel system applicable
The Secretary may, under regulations promulgated by the Secretary, adjust the monthly pay of each member of the Corps (other than a member described in subsection (a)(1)(C)) who is directly engaged in the delivery of health services in a health professional shortage area as follows:
During the first 36 months in which such a member is so engaged in the delivery of health services, his monthly pay may be increased by an amount which when added to the member’s monthly pay and allowances will provide a monthly income competitive with the average monthly income from a practice of an individual who is a member of the profession of the Corps member, who has equivalent training, and who has been in practice for a period equivalent to the period during which the Corps member has been in practice.
During the period beginning upon the expiration of the 36 months referred to in subparagraph (A) and ending with the month in which the member’s monthly pay and allowances are equal to or exceed the monthly income he received for the last of such 36 months, the member may receive in addition to his monthly pay and allowances an amount which when added to such monthly pay and allowances equals the monthly income he received for such last month.
For each month in which a member is directly engaged in the delivery of health services in a health professional shortage area in accordance with an agreement with the Secretary entered into under section 294n(f)(1)(C)
See References in Text note below.
of this title, under which the Secretary is obligated to make payments in accordance with section 294n(f)(2) of this title, the amount of any monthly increase under subparagraph (A) or (B) with respect to such member shall be decreased by an amount equal to one-twelfth of the amount which the Secretary is obligated to pay upon the completion of the year of practice in which such month occurs.
For purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (B), the term “monthly pay” includes special pay received under chapter 5 of title 37.
In the case of a member of the Corps who is directly engaged in the delivery of health services in a health professional shortage area in accordance with a service obligation incurred under the Scholarship Program or the Loan Repayment Program, the adjustment in pay authorized by paragraph (1) may be made for such a member only upon satisfactory completion of such service obligation, and the first 36 months of such member’s being so engaged in the delivery of health services shall, for purposes of paragraph (1)(A), be deemed to begin upon such satisfactory completion.
A member of the Corps described in subparagraph (C) of subsection (a)(1) shall when assigned to an entity under section 254f of this title
be subject to the personnel system of such entity, except that such member shall receive during the period of assignment the income that the member would receive if the member was a member of the Corps described in subparagraph (B) of such subsection.
Assignment of personnel provisions inapplicable to members whose service obligation incurred under Scholarship Program or Loan Repayment Program
Sections 215 and 217 of this title shall not apply to members of the National Health Service Corps during their period of obligated service under the Scholarship Program or the Loan Repayment Program, except when such members are Commissioned Corps officers who entered into a contract with
So in original. The word “the” probably should appear.
Secretary under section 254l
–1 of this title after December 31, 2006
and when the Secretary determines that exercising the authority provided under section 215 or 217 of this title with respect to any such officer to
would not cause unreasonable disruption to health care services provided in the community in which such officer is providing health care services.
Conversion from Corps member to commissioned officer; retirement credits
The Secretary shall, by rule, prescribe conversion provisions applicable to any individual who, within a year after completion of service as a member of the Corps described in subsection (a)(1)(C), becomes a commissioned officer in the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Service.
The rules prescribed under paragraph (1) shall provide that in applying the appropriate provisions of this chapter which relate to retirement, any individual who becomes such an officer shall be entitled to have credit for any period of service as a member of the Corps described in subsection (a)(1)(C).
Demonstration projects; waivers
In carrying out subpart III, the Secretary may, in accordance with this subsection, issue waivers to individuals who have entered into a contract for obligated service under the Scholarship Program or the Loan Repayment Program under which the individuals are authorized to satisfy the requirement of obligated service through providing clinical practice that is half time.
A waiver described in paragraph (1) may be provided by the Secretary only if—
the entity for which the service is to be performed—
has requested in writing assignment of a health professional who would serve half time;
the Secretary has determined that assignment of a health professional who would serve half time would be appropriate for the area where the entity is located;
a Corps member who is required to perform obligated service has agreed in writing to be assigned for half-time service to an entity described in subparagraph (A);
the entity and the Corps member agree in writing that the Corps member will perform half-time clinical practice;
the Corps member agrees in writing to fulfill all of the service obligations under section 254m of this title
through half-time clinical practice and either—
double the period of obligated service that would otherwise be required; or
in the case of contracts entered into under section 254l–1 of this title, accept a minimum service obligation of 2 years with an award amount equal to 50 percent of the amount that would otherwise be payable for full-time service; and
the Corps member agrees in writing that if the Corps member begins providing half-time service but fails to begin or complete the period of obligated service, the method stated in 254o(c) of this title for determining the damages for breach of the individual’s written contract will be used after converting periods of obligated service or of service performed into their full-time equivalents.
In evaluating waivers issued under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall examine the effect of multidisciplinary teams.
For the purposes of this subpart and subpart III:
The term “Department” means the Department of Health and Human Services.
The term “Loan Repayment Program” means the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program established under section 254l–1 of this title.
The term “Scholarship Program” means the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program established under section 254l of this title.
The term “State” includes, in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
The terms “full time” and “full-time” mean a minimum of 40 hours per week in a clinical practice, for a minimum of 45 weeks per year.
The terms “half time” and “half-time” mean a minimum of 20 hours per week (not to exceed 39 hours per week) in a clinical practice, for a minimum of 45 weeks per year.
[July 1, 1944, ch. 373], title III, § 331, as added [Pub. L. 94–484, title IV, § 407(b)(3)], Oct. 12, 1976, [90 Stat. 2268]; amended [Pub. L. 97–35, title XXVII, § 2701], Aug. 13, 1981, [95 Stat. 902]; [Pub. L. 100–177, title II, § 202(b)], title III, § 301, Dec. 1, 1987, [101 Stat. 996], 1003; [Pub. L. 100–607, title VI, § 629(a)(2)], Nov. 4, 1988, [102 Stat. 3146]; [Pub. L. 101–597, title I, § 101], title IV, § 401(b)[(a)], Nov. 16, 1990, [104 Stat. 3013], 3035; [Pub. L. 107–251, title III, § 301], Oct. 26, 2002, [116 Stat. 1642]; [Pub. L. 109–417, title II, § 206(c)(2)], Dec. 19, 2006, [120 Stat. 2853]; [Pub. L. 111–148, title X, § 10501(n)(1)], (2), Mar. 23, 2010, [124 Stat. 1002], 1003.)