As of November of 2020, Oregon has a total population estimate of 4,268,055; a .07 increase over the year prior. As of March 2021, there are 1,273,886 members enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan, an increase of 194,273 members since the year prior. Providers who complete their training with typical student loan debt amounts find it difficult if not impossible to practice in an underserved community while struggling to pay off their loans. Thirty-four of Oregon's thirty-six counties contain a primary care health professional shortage area (HPSA) designation. Thirty-five of the thirty-six contain a dental HPSA; twenty-seven entire Oregon counties are mental health HPSAs. Every two years the Oregon Health Authority conducts an Oregon Health Insurance Survey. In 2021, 95% of people in Oregon had health insurance coverage. From 2019 to 2021, due to the pandemic, the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) saw a 4.9% member increase. This increase was due to Oregonians losing their group coverage and obtaining coverage through the OHP. In 2021 47.2% of Oregonians had private group health insurance, 29.4% had Medicaid through the OHP, 15.2% had Medicare, 3.7% had individual private insurance, and 4.6% were uninsured. The Oregon Partnership State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) will help to increase access to primary, mental, behavioral and dental health care by recruiting and retaining providers with the incentive of loan repayment, and thereby improve primary care access and reduce health disparities for low-income Oregonians. In exchange for loan repayment, providers will provide needed services to the residents of their communities. Qualified providers will include MDs, DOs, NPs, PAs, Certified Nurse Midwives, Dentists, Expanded Practice Dental Hygienists, RNs, Pharmacists, Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor IIIs (Master Degree required), and licensed mental and behavioral health professionals. The Orgon Office of Rural Health (OORH) preapproves practice sites th
at seek to participate in the SLRP program. Currently, there are 231 Oregon practice sites qualified and approved to participate in SLRP. SLRP will be utilized by non-profit or public entities in a HPSA, Critical Access Hospitals (CAH), certified Rural Health Clinics (RHC) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). In exchange for loan repayment, SLRP participants will agree to practice full-time or part-time at an approved practice site, accept Medicare and Medicaid patients, and see patients regardless of their ability to pay. SLRP participants will agree to a minimum of 2 years (4 years for part time) of service with the possibility of 2 additional years of continued participation. SLRP is a strategic part of the OORH workforce plan and the office will work with the providers, communities and practice site facilities to retain those providers beyond their period of obligated service.