Ohio veterinary loan repayment laws

August 2008

Veterinarian Education Loan Repayment Program

4741.40 Definitions

As used in sections 4741.40 to 4741.47 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Large animal veterinary services," "veterinary services necessary to implement or enforce the law," and "veterinary services necessary to protect public health" have the meanings established in rules adopted by the state veterinary medical licensing board under section 4741.45 of the Revised Code.

(B) "Veterinary resource shortage area" means an area designated in those rules as having limited access to large animal veterinary services or to veterinary services necessary to implement or enforce the law or to protect public health, as applicable.

4741.41 Eligible expenses and limitations

There is hereby created the veterinarian loan repayment program. Under the program, the Ohio board of regents, by means of a contract entered into under section 4741.44 of the Revised Code, may agree to repay all or part of the principal and interest of a government or other educational loan taken out by a veterinarian for the following expenses if the expenses were incurred while the veterinarian was enrolled, for a maximum of four years, in a veterinary college in the United States that, during the time of enrollment, was approved by the state veterinary medical licensing board or accredited by the American veterinary medical association:

(A) Tuition;

(B) Other educational expenses, such as fees, books, and laboratory expenses, for specific purposes and in amounts determined to be reasonable by the state veterinary medical licensing board;

(C) Room and board, in an amount determined to be reasonable by the state veterinary medical licensing board.

No repayment shall exceed twenty thousand dollars in any year. If, however, a repayment results in an increase in the veterinarian's federal, state, or local income tax liability, the Ohio board of regents, at the veterinarian's request and with the approval of the state veterinary medical licensing board, may reimburse the veterinarian for the increased tax liability regardless of the amount of the repayment made to the veterinarian in that year.

4741.42 Applications

(A) A veterinarian who has not received student loan repayment assistance pursuant to federal law and who meets either of the following requirements may apply for participation in the veterinarian loan repayment program:

(1) The veterinarian is enrolled in the final year of a veterinary medical program at a veterinary college approved by the state veterinary medical licensing board or accredited by the American veterinary medical association.

(2) The veterinarian has been engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine in this state for not more than three years prior to submitting the application.

(B) An application for participation in the veterinarian loan repayment program shall be submitted to the board on a form that the board shall prescribe. The application shall include the following:

(1) The applicant's name, permanent address or address at which the applicant is currently residing if different from the permanent address, and telephone number;

(2) The veterinary college the applicant has attended, the dates of attendance, and verification of attendance;

(3) A summary and verification of the educational expenses for which the applicant seeks reimbursement under the program;

(4) In the case of an applicant who is eligible to apply because the applicant is a veterinarian who has been engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine in this state for not more than three years prior to submitting the application, verification of the applicant's authorization under this chapter to practice veterinary medicine;

(5) Verification of the applicant's United States citizenship or status as a legal alien.

4741.43 Approval of applicants

If the veterinarian loan repayment fund created in section 4741.46 of the Revised Code contains sufficient money, the state veterinary medical licensing board shall approve an applicant for participation in the program if the board finds that the applicant is eligible for participation in the program and the applicant's services are needed in a veterinary resource shortage area.

Upon approval, the board shall notify and enter into discussions with the applicant to facilitate the recruitment of the applicant to a veterinary resource shortage area in which the applicant's services are most needed. If the board and the applicant agree on the applicant's placement within a veterinary resource shortage area, the applicant shall prepare, sign, and deliver to the board a letter of intent agreeing to that placement.

4741.44 Participation contracts

(A) A veterinarian who has signed a letter of intent under section 4741. 43 of the Revised Code, the state veterinary medical licensing board, and the Ohio board of regents may enter into a contract for the veterinarian's participation in the veterinarian loan repayment program. A lending institution also may be a party to the contract.

(B) The contract shall include all of the following obligations:

(1) The veterinarian agrees to provide large animal veterinary services or to provide veterinary services necessary to implement or enforce the law or to protect public health, as applicable, in a veterinary resource shortage area identified in the letter of intent for at least two years or one year per ten thousand dollars of repayment agreed to under division (B)(3) of this section, whichever is greater.

(2) When providing veterinary services in the veterinary resource shortage area, the veterinarian agrees to do both of the following:

(a) Provide veterinary services for a minimum of forty hours per week;

(b) Devote not less than sixty per cent of total monthly veterinary services to large animal veterinary services or veterinary services necessary to implement or enforce the law or to protect public health, as applicable.

(3) The Ohio board of regents agrees, as provided in section 4741.41 of the Revised Code, to repay, so long as the veterinarian performs the service obligation agreed to under division (B)(1) of this section, all or part of the principal and interest of a government or other educational loan taken by the veterinarian for expenses described in section 4741.41 of the Revised Code.

(4) The veterinarian agrees to pay the Ohio board of regents the following as damages if the veterinarian fails to complete the service obligation agreed to under division (B)(1) of this section:

(a) If the failure occurs during the first two years of the service obligation, two times the total amount the board has agreed to pay under division (B)(3) of this section;

(b) If the failure occurs after the first two years of the service obligation, two times the total amount the board is still obligated to repay under division (B)(3) of this section.

(C) The contract may include any other terms agreed upon by the parties, including an assignment to the Ohio board of regents of the veterinarian's duty to pay the principal and interest of a government or other educational loan taken by the veterinarian for expenses described in section 4741.41 of the Revised Code. If the Ohio board of regents assumes the veterinarian's duty to pay a loan, the contract shall set forth the total amount of principal and interest to be paid, an amortization schedule, and the amount of each payment to be made under the schedule.

(D) Not later than the thirty-first day of January each year, the Ohio board of regents shall mail to each veterinarian to whom or on whose behalf repayment is made under section 4741.41 of the Revised Code a statement showing the amount of principal and interest repaid by the Ohio board of regents in the preceding year pursuant to the contract. The statement shall be sent by ordinary mail with address correction and forwarding requested in the manner prescribed by the United States postal service.

4741.45 Rules and rulemaking

The state veterinary medical licensing board, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall adopt rules that do all of the following:

(A) Define "large animal veterinary services," "veterinary services necessary to implement or enforce the law," and "veterinary services necessary to protect public health";

(B) Designate veterinary resource shortage areas comprised of areas in this state that have limited access to each of the following:

(1) Large animal veterinary services;

(2) Veterinary services necessary to implement or enforce the law;

(3) Veterinary services necessary to protect public health.

The designations may apply to a geographic area, one or more facilities within a particular area, or a population group of animals within a particular area.

(C) Establish priorities among veterinary resource shortage areas for use in recruiting veterinarians under the veterinarian loan repayment program;

(D) Establish priorities for use in determining eligibility among applicants for participation in the veterinarian loan repayment program;

(E) Establish any other requirement or procedure that is necessary to implement and administer sections 4741.40 to 4741.47 of the Revised Code.

In adopting the rules, the board shall consult with the state veterinarian and the Ohio board of regents.

4741.46 Gifts to fund

(A) The state veterinary medical licensing board may accept gifts of money from any source for the implementation and administration of sections 4741.40 to 4741.45 of the Revised Code. The board shall deposit all gifts so accepted into the state treasury to the credit of the veterinary resource shortage area fund, which is hereby created. The board shall use the fund for the implementation and administration of sections 4741.40 to 4741.45 of the Revised Code.

(B) The Ohio board of regents may accept gifts of money from any source for the implementation and administration of sections 4741.41 and 4741.44 of the Revised Code. The board shall deposit all gifts so accepted together with all damages collected under division (B)(4) of section 4741.44 of the Revised Code into the state treasury to the credit of the veterinarian loan repayment fund, which is hereby created. The fund also shall consist of the portion of biennial renewal fees that is credited to the fund under section 4741.17 of the Revised Code. The board shall use the fund for the implementation and administration of the veterinarian loan repayment program created in section 4741.41 of the Revised Code.

4741.47 Annual report

The state veterinary medical licensing board, annually on or before the first day of March, shall submit a report to the governor and the general assembly describing the operations of the veterinarian loan repayment program during the previous calendar year. The report shall include information on all of the following:

(A) The number of requests received by the board that a particular area be designated as a veterinary resource shortage area;

(B) The areas that have been designated as veterinary resource shortage areas and the priorities that have been assigned to them;

(C) The number of applicants for participation in the veterinarian loan repayment program;

(D) The number of veterinarians assigned to veterinary resource shortage areas and the payments made on behalf of those veterinarians under the veterinarian loan repayment program;

(E) The veterinary resource shortage areas that have not been matched with all of the veterinarians that they need;

(F) The number of veterinarians failing to complete their service obligations, the amount of damages owed, and the amount of damages collected.

4741.99 Penalties

(A) Whoever violates section 4741.18, 4741.19, 4741.22, or 4741.23 or division (A) of section 4741.20 or division (B) or (D) of section 4741.21 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree; for each subsequent offense such person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(B) Whoever violates division (B) of section 4741.28 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars.


Source: AVMA Staff Research, State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Dept.
Contact: Tara Southwell, State Policy Analyst, AVMA State Legislative and Regulatory Department, 847-285-6779