Conditions necessary for assignment of Corps personnel to area; contents of application for assignment; assignment to particular facility; approval of applications
The Secretary may assign members of the Corps to provide, under regulations promulgated by the Secretary, health services in or to a health professional shortage area during the assignment period only if—
a public or private entity, which is located or has a demonstrated interest in such area makes application to the Secretary for such assignment;
such application has been approved by the Secretary;
the Secretary has (i) conducted an evaluation of the need and demand for health manpower for the area, the intended use of Corps members to be assigned to the area, community support for the assignment of Corps members to the area, the area’s efforts to secure health manpower for the area, and the fiscal management capability of the entity to which Corps members would be assigned and (ii) on the basis of such evaluation has determined that—
there is a need and demand for health manpower for the area;
there has been appropriate and efficient use of any Corps members assigned to the entity for the area;
there is general community support for the assignment of Corps members to the entity;
the area has made unsuccessful efforts to secure health manpower for the area;
there is a reasonable prospect of sound fiscal management, including efficient collection of fee-for-service, third-party, and other appropriate funds, by the entity with respect to Corps members assigned to such entity; and
the entity demonstrates willingness to support or facilitate mentorship, professional development, and training opportunities for Corps members.
An application for assignment of a Corps member to a health professional shortage area shall include a demonstration by the applicant that the area or population group to be served by the applicant has a shortage of personal health services and that the Corps member will be located so that the member will provide services to the greatest number of persons residing in such area or included in such population group. Such a demonstration shall be made on the basis of the criteria prescribed by the Secretary under section 254e(b) of this title
and on additional criteria which the Secretary shall prescribe to determine if the area or population group to be served by the applicant has a shortage of personal health services.
Corps members may be assigned to a Federal health care facility, but only upon the request of the head of the department or agency of which such facility is a part.
In approving applications for assignment of members of the Corps the Secretary shall not discriminate against applications from entities which are not receiving Federal financial assistance under this chapter. In approving such applications, the Secretary shall give preference to applications in which a nonprofit entity or public entity shall provide a site to which Corps members may be assigned.
Assignment of members without regard to ability of area to pay for services
The Secretary shall assign Corps members to entities in health professional shortage areas without regard to the ability of the individuals in such areas, population groups, medical facilities, or other public facilities to pay for such services.
Entities entitled to aid; forms of assistance; coordination of efforts; agreements for assignment of Corps members; qualified entity
The Secretary may provide technical assistance to a public or private entity which is located in a health professional shortage area and which desires to make an application under this section for assignment of a Corps member to such area. Assistance provided under this paragraph may include assistance to an entity in (A) analyzing the potential use of health professions personnel in defined health services delivery areas by the residents of such areas, (B) determining the need for such personnel in such areas, (C) determining the extent to which such areas will have a financial base to support the practice of such personnel and the extent to which additional financial resources are needed to adequately support the practice, (D) determining the types of inpatient and other health services that should be provided by such personnel in such areas, and (E) developing long-term plans for addressing health professional shortages and improving access to health care. The Secretary shall encourage entities that receive technical assistance under this paragraph to communicate with other communities, State Offices of Rural Health, State Primary Care Associations and Offices, and other entities concerned with site development and community needs assessment.
The Secretary may provide, to public and private entities which are located in a health professional shortage area to which area a Corps member has been assigned, technical assistance to assist in the retention of such member in such area after the completion of such member’s assignment to the area.
The Secretary may provide, to health professional shortage areas to which no Corps member has been assigned, (A) technical assistance to assist in the recruitment of health manpower for such areas, and (B) current information on public and private programs which provide assistance in the securing of health manpower.
The Secretary shall undertake to demonstrate the improvements that can be made in the assignment of members of the Corps to health professional shortage areas and in the delivery of health care by Corps members in such areas through coordination with States, political subdivisions of States, agencies of States and political subdivisions, and other public and private entities which have expertise in the planning, development, and operation of centers for the delivery of primary health care. In carrying out this subparagraph, the Secretary shall enter into agreements with qualified entities which provide that if—
the entity places in effect a program for the planning, development, and operation of centers for the delivery of primary health care in health professional shortage areas which reasonably addresses the need for such care in such areas, and
under the program the entity will perform the functions described in subparagraph (B),
the Secretary will assign under this section members of the Corps in accordance with the program.
For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term “qualified entity” means a State, political subdivision of a State, an agency of a State or political subdivision, or other public or private entity operating solely within one State, which the Secretary determines is able—
to analyze the potential use of health professions personnel in defined health services delivery areas by the residents of such areas;
to determine the need for such personnel in such areas and to recruit, select, and retain health professions personnel (including members of the National Health Service Corps) to meet such need;
to determine the extent to which such areas will have a financial base to support the practice of such personnel and the extent to which additional financial resources are needed to adequately support the practice;
to determine the types of inpatient and other health services that should be provided by such personnel in such areas;
to assist such personnel in the development of their clinical practice and fee schedules and in the management of their practice;
to assist in the planning and development of facilities for the delivery of primary health care; and
to assist in establishing the governing bodies of centers for the delivery of such care and to assist such bodies in defining and carrying out their responsibilities.
Practice within State by Corps member
Notwithstanding any other law, any member of the Corps licensed to practice medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, or any other health profession in any State shall, while serving in the Corps, be allowed to practice such profession in any State.
[July 1, 1944, ch. 373], title III, § 333, as added [Pub. L. 94–484, title IV, § 407(b)(3)], Oct. 12, 1976, [90 Stat. 2272]; amended [Pub. L. 97–35, title XXVII, § 2703], Aug. 13, 1981, [95 Stat. 904]; [Pub. L. 100–177, title III], §§ 303, 304, Dec. 1, 1987, [101 Stat. 1004]; [Pub. L. 100–607, title VI, § 629(a)(2)], Nov. 4, 1988, [102 Stat. 3146]; [Pub. L. 101–597, title I, § 103], title IV, § 401(b)[(a)], Nov. 16, 1990, [104 Stat. 3015], 3035; [Pub. L. 107–251, title III, § 303], Oct. 26, 2002, [116 Stat. 1645]; [Pub. L. 108–163, § 2(g)], Dec. 6, 2003, [117 Stat. 2022]; [Pub. L. 110–355, § 3(c)], Oct. 8, 2008, [122 Stat. 3993].)