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ACA starts repaying some medical student loans for primary care

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 25, 2013

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Eighty-seven medical students pursuing careers in primary care will receive more than $10 million in funding to help repay loans under the Affordable Care Act.

The National Health Service Corps’ Students to Service Loan Repayment Program was created by the ACA to help fourth-year medical students pay for their education in return for providing primary care services to underserved urban or rural areas. The loan awards were distributed by the National Health Service Corps and span 29 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

“This new National Health Service Corps initiative is an innovative approach to encouraging more medical students to work in primary care, and to bring more primary care doctors to communities,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement. “This is an important part of the administration’s commitment to building the future health care work force.”

Recipients of these funds are required to serve three years of full-time service or six years of part-time service. The number of clinicians serving in the National Health Service Corps has nearly tripled during the past five years, according to HHS. About 10,000 primary care health care professionals are serving more than 10 million people at 14,000 health care sites.

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