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Criteria for waiver sponsorships in nondesignated areas.

Key objectives of the J-1 visa waiver program are to increase access to physicians for low income, medicaid-covered and otherwise medically underserved individuals. Federal law allows states to sponsor a limited number of physicians each federal fiscal year who will practice medicine at a location outside a designated HPSA that serves significant numbers or percentages of patients who reside in designated HPSAs. Sponsorships will not be open to applicants hiring physicians to practice outside HPSA-designated areas until January 15th of each federal fiscal year unless the employer is a state correctional or psychiatric institution.
The determination of appropriateness for a sponsorship in a nondesignated area will take into consideration the following factors.
(1) Nature of the applicant and practice location(s). Certain health care facilities play an important role in serving Washington's medically underserved populations. Specifically, providers of important services to the state's vulnerable population groups, particularly in specialty and tertiary care services draw patients from a large area, including designated HPSAs. Applicants must describe their practice location's service area and to what extent they provide service to residents of designated HPSAs.
(2) Expected patient panel to be served by the sponsored physician. Successful nondesignated waiver applicants must be able to describe:
(a) The percentage the sponsored physician's panel reasonably expected to be medicaid and medicare patients given current use of the service and practice location by those populations.
(b) How the applicant will ensure access to this physician for low-income or uninsured patients.
(c) If there is a unique practice area or substantial referral network making the physician a statewide resource for certain medical conditions.
(d) If the physician has language skills that will benefit patients at the practice location.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.185.040 and P.L. 110-362. WSR 16-17-060, § 246-562-075, filed 8/12/16, effective 10/1/16. Statutory Authority: Chapter 70.185 RCW and Public Law 108-441. WSR 06-07-035, § 246-562-075, filed 3/8/06, effective 4/8/06.]
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