DOH Launches Program to Provide Medical Educational Loan Debt Relief to Providers in Underserved Areas

The Florida Department of Health launched the Florida Reimbursement Assistance for Medical Education (FRAME) portal today for 2023 application cycle. The FRAME program provides medical education loan debt relief to health care professionals practicing in less populated areas of the state.

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In July 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature directed nearly $6.6 million in funding to expand access to primary care health services utilizing the FRAME program. FRAME encourages qualified health care professionals to practice in underserved areas across the state, by providing annual payments intended to offset the loans and educational expenses leading to medical or nursing degrees.

“We want to ensure we are doing all that we can to recruit and retain great health care professionals throughout the state of Florida,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “This program will meet a critical need in our state and will prioritize establishing a strong workforce that will help save lives and provide high-quality care every day.”

“Through the FRAME program, we will increase access to health care for families across the state,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “By providing this resource, we can recruit and retain health care professionals to underserved areas and by increasing capacity, will not only serve families today where they live but will also prepare us for the challenges of the future.”

Through the FRAME program, physicians, physician assistants, and nursing professionals may be eligible for an annual award of up to $20,000 toward the remaining principal of their educational loans. To be eligible, providers must have a primary care specialty and currently provide services within a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or statutorily specified facility type.

Applications for FRAME funding will be prioritized based on a combined factor of direct patient care hours provided in a HPSA, the HPSA score, and the length of continued service of the applicant in the HPSA(s). Funding will be distributed by prioritization score.

Applications can be submitted on the FRAMEworks portal or by mail during the application cycle between February 1, 2023, and March 31, 2023. Award determinations will be made by June 1, 2023.

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