Dentists Loan Repayment Program

The State of North Dakota has established a loan repayment program for dentists who shall provide dental services in the cities or surrounding areas, or both, which the State Health Council identifies as having a defined need for dental services.

Who is Eligible?

Dentists selected from this pool of applicants may include dentists who provide dental services in:

  • A public health clinic.
  • A practice with a focus on an underserved population.
  • A nonprofit clinic.

Where Providers Serve:

Providers must serve in areas of the state with a defined need for such services.

Service Commitment:

Dentist must practice full-time (40 hours/week) for up to five years.

Financial Benefits:

Providers can enter into an agreement up to five years for a total award of $100,000.

Payments:

The State Health Council will not provide any loan repayment funds to a dentist until the dentist has practiced at least six months on a full-time basis in the city or surrounding areas, or both, the State Health Council has identified as having a defined need for dental services.  Loan repayment funds for a year of obligated services are payable by the State Health Council no later than the end of the fiscal year in which the dentist completes the year of obligated service.

Application Deadline:

Complete applications are due by March 15th.  Once received, reviewed and verified, applications will be forwarded to the State Health Council for consideration at the April or May meeting.

Breach of Loan Repayment Contract:

If a dentist who receives loan repayment funds breaches the loan repayment contract by failing to begin or failing to complete the obligated services, the dentist is liable for the total amount of any loan repayment funds received.  Any damages the state is entitled to recover must be paid to the State Health Council, within one year from the date of the breach.  Any amounts not paid within one year from the date of breach are subject to the collection process and may be recovered through deductions in Medicaid payments.  Damages recoverable for a breach of the contract include all interest, costs, and expenses incurred in collection, including attorney's fees.  The State Health Council may agree to accept a lesser nature of damages for breach of a loan repayment program contract if compelling reasons are demonstrated.

Release from Contract Obligation:

The State Health Council shall release a dentist from the dentist's loan repayment contract, without penalty, if:

  • The dentist has completed the service requirements of the contract;
  • The dentist is unable to complete the service requirement of the contact because of a permanent physical disability;
  • The dentist demonstrates to the Health Council extreme hardship or shows other good cause justifying the release; or
  • The dentist dies.

A decision by the State Health Council not to release a dentist from the dentist's loan repayment contract without penalty is reviewable by district court.

Provider Selection Criteria:

The Health Council will take into consideration when selecting qualified dentists and in identifying cities or surrounding area, or both, that have a defined need for dental services, the following:

  • The number of dentists already providing dental services in the city or surrounding areas, or both;
  • Access to dental services in the city and the surrounding areas;
  • How the dentist will provide dental services in a public health clinic, a practice with a focus on an underserved population, or a nonprofit dental clinic; and
  • The dentist's training in general dentistry or in a dental specialty and the extent to which such services are needed in the identified city or surrounding area.

For the purposes of a dentist selected for loan repayment who practices within fifteen miles of the city limits of one of the three largest cities (Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks) in the state, to qualify to receive a yearly disbursement, the dentist must have:

  • Received dental medical payments of at least twenty thousand dollars in the form of medical assistance reimbursement; or
  • Practiced at least two full workdays per week at a public health clinic or at a nonprofit dental clinic that uses a sliding fee schedule to bill the nonprofit dental clinic's patients.

The Health Council may consult with public and private sector entities in establishing criteria and evaluating needs based on criteria.

North Dakota Dental Loan Repayment Policy and Procedure Manual

Dentist Application Form

Please contact Bobbie Will for additional information and submission of completed applications:
Bobbie Will, Manager
North Dakota Primary Care Office
Office of Public Health Systems and Performance
600 E Boulevard Ave., Dept 301
Bismarck, ND 58505
office: 701-328-4908 or fax: 701-328-4727
email:
blwill@nd.gov