3.Selection Criteria, Application Review, and Final Phase Process

Because the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program receives more applications than it can fund, the selection process focuses on complete applications submitted with postmarks showing the first day of the application period. This section explains deficiencies that cause applications to be screened out and how selection criteria is applied to complete applications to determine the order applicants enter the final phase of the application process. The final phase of the application process is also discussed.

 

Screening Process for Incomplete and Illegible Applications:

Applications will be automatically screened out of the current application period for any single major deficiency or for multiple minor deficiencies. Major application deficiencies, outlined below, indicate the applicant did not take sufficient time to read the MSLRP Application Period Update, the website, and the instructions for each application form.

Major deficiencies for which applications are automatically screened out:

Not submitting:
  1. Application forms, including Provider Applications Part A& B and the Practice Site Application.
  2. Attachments to the Practice Site Application, when required.
  3. HPSA-Find documentation for each practice site included on the Practice Site Application. Employers must read the instructions for the Practice Site Application carefully to make sure they are meeting all requirements.
  4. Sliding Fee Schedule Chart and Policy, when required.
  5. Loan Repayment Documentation (LRD), whenreapplying.
Submitting:
  1. Out-of-dated versions of application forms.
  2. More than one provider/employer application per envelope.
  3. HPSA-Find documentation not meeting all requirements included in the Practice Site Application Instructions, including labeling practice sites on printouts.
  4. Sliding Fee Schedule Chart and Policy not in compliance with the National Health Service Corps guidelines, found at https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/downloads/discountfeeschedule.pdf
  5. Provider Application, Part B, with any deficiencies that must be addressed by the loan servicer.
  6. Loan Repayment Documentation (LRD) that does not meet the LRD required amount, is illegible, difficult to understand or improperly formatted if provided as printouts from loan servicer websites.

For additional common mistakes, errors and omissions on each application form, see the Application Periods, Forms and Process section of the website.

Selection Criteria:

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reserves the right to modify its MSLRP selection criteria at any time in response to Michigan's changing healthcare provider needs. Applications must be 100 percent complete, legible, and meet all requirements described in the current MSLRP Application Period Update, the MSLRP website, and in instructions for application forms. Selection criteria presented below are used to determine the order in which applicants will enter the final phase of the application process. Applicants receive preference in the selection process for prompt submission of complete applications, priority provider type status, and for working at priority practice sites. Finally, randomly generated lottery numbers assigned to each application are considered.

Preference for Prompt Submission of Complete Applications:

MSLRP applicants receive preference in the selection process for prompt submission of complete, legible applications, which are assigned to review batches based on their postmark dates. This means that providers submitting applications with earlier postmarks within the application period receive preference over those with later postmarks. Applicants must check the current MSLRP Opportunity Update, for postmark dates included in each new application period and how they will be assigned to review batches

Applications will be reviewed only until there are a sufficient number to obligate program funds. Remaining applications will not be reviewed. This may occur at any time during the application period.

Top Priority Providers: Top priority providers receive preference over all other applicants in the selection process.  This includes:

  • Northern Obstetric Service Providers 

    Obstetric service providers working in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula will continue to be atop priority for loan repayment. This includes providers working in, or north of Mason, Lake, Osceola, Clare, Gladwin, Arenac, Huron and Bay Counties.

    • The two-year limit for northern obstetric service provider loan repayment agreements is $70,000.

To be considered a top priority, graduating students and obstetric service providers not yet working in this area must enter into employment agreements to begin work no later than October 1, following the current application period.

Obstetrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the care of women during pregnancy and during and following childbirth. This includes OB/GYN physicians and certified nurse midwives (CNMs), as well as family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) who provide obstetric services on a regular basis at both hospital and non-hospital-based clinics. Clinicians who spent at least 10 hours per week providing prenatal care, but do not perform deliveries, may also receive priority status. Employers may request priority status for these providers by checking Northern Obstetric Provider in the priority status section of their Practice Site Applications.

Please Note: For providers other than OB/GYN physicians and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) to be considered a top priority, employers must include a signed letter with their Practice Site Applications which includes the: 1) Number of hours per week, which must be at least 10, the applicant spends providing obstetric services; and 2) Provider types and number of hours per week other practitioners provide obstetric services at the applicant’s practice site(s).

  • Inpatient Pediatric Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists specializing in pediatrics at inpatient psychiatric units will be a top priority for loan repayment. To be eligible for Inpatient Pediatric Psychiatrist priority status, psychiatrists must be involved in the assessment, admission, and treatment of pediatric inpatients. Employers of those awarded loan repayment agreements with inpatient pediatric psychiatric provider status will be required to make 20 percent employer contributions. Applicants must meet all of the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program's (MSLRP) eligibility and application requirements except they may be:

  • Inpatient hospital-based, instead of clinic-based
  • Treating an inpatient hospital, instead of an outpatient, ambulatory population
  • Working at a practice site(s) that does not have a mental health Health Provider Shortage Area (HPSA) facility designation and is not located within a mental health geographical HPSA.
  • Genesee County Applicants

Providers working at practice sites in Genesee County will be a top priority for loan repayment. Employers are required to make contributions equal to 20 percent of their providers’ loan repayment agreements. Providers must meet all MSLRP requirements except the following:

  • Practice sites are not required to be located within a Health Professional Shortage Area.

Priority Providers: When working in priority practice sties, priority providers receive preference over all other priority applicants, except for top priority providers. Priority providers include:

  • Psychiatrists working in clinic-based mental healthcare practice sites service an ambulatory population.

Priority Practice Sites:  Providers working at priority practice sites also receive preference in the selection process as priority applicants for loan repayment. These include:

  • Certified Rural Health Clinics (RHC/HPSAs)
    Designated as Facility HPSAs

  • Community Health Centers (CHCs)

  • Community Mental Health Clinic (CMH)

  • Critical Access Hospital (CAH) - Primary Care Clinics
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) Look-Alikes
  • Local Health Departments
  • My Community Dental Centers
  • Non-profit practice sites not included in this list with HPSA scores of at least eight (8).
    • ​To be considered a priority applicant, all of the non-priority practice sites at which a provider may complete their MSLRP service obligation must have HPSA scores of at least eight.
  • State/Federal Correctional Facilities
  • State Forensic Medicine Centers
  • State-funded Primary Care Clinics
  • Tribal-Affiliated Primary Care Clinics

Non-Priority Practice Sites: Applications of those working at eligible practice sites other than those listed above under Priority Practice Sites will not be reviewed until the final postmark review batch. Please check the current MSLRP Application Period Update for postmark dates included in each new application period and how they will be assigned to review batches.

Lottery Number Assignment:  MSLRP assigns randomly generated lottery numbers to applications as they are received. Lottery numbers are the last criterion to be applied in the review process to determine the order in which equally ranked applicants enter the final phase of the application process, starting with the lowest and working up to the highest number.

Review Process: Applying the Selection Criteria:

Selection criteria are applied to applications assigned to the first postmark review batch to determine and group priority and top priority applicants, and to identify non-priority applicants who will be assigned to the final review batch. Top priority and priority applicants are then rank ordered by their lottery numbers starting with the lowest to highest number, making the top priority applicant with the lowest lottery number the first, and the priority applicant with the highest number the last to enter the final phase process. This process continues with the next postmark batch only if additional applications must be reviewed to obligate program funds.

Final Phase Application Process Steps and Requirements:

Providers enter the Final Phase of the MSLRP application process when they receive an email from the MSLRP Office which notifies them their applications have been approved and their telephone interviews have been scheduled. Those registered for electronic funds transfers (EFT) on SIGMA VSS, pass their interviews, and complete their applications go on to Final Phase Contracting. Providers, who return their signed Personal Services Agreement (PSA) and their employer’s signed Revenue Agreement (RA) as attachments to Brittany Brookshire in a single email by the due date, are awarded the loan repayment agreement for which they have applied.

1. Final Phase Telephone Interview:
The purpose of telephone interviews is to determine which applicants will continue in the Final Phase process by identifying those who have registered on SIGMA VSS and taken the time necessary to learn program information, requirements, and procedures. Applicants demonstrate their program knowledge by answering a set of questions covering the:

  • Final Phase Application Process Steps and Requirements included below.

Applicants entering the final phase will receive an email stating their applications are accepted and they will receive a phone call to complete their final phase telephone interviews. Telephone interview questions will be attached to the email requesting applicants to:

  • Expect a call on their mobile phones someday during a specified week, between 8:00am and 2:30pm, to complete their 10 to 15-minute interview.

  • Keep their mobile phones on whenever possible so they can be reached.

  • Not call or email the program until staff attempts to call them and leave a message asking them to call back. This is the only way the program can control the number of providers trying to return calls at the same time.

  • Review the Participant Information and Requirements section of the MSLRP website and the Final Phase Application Process Steps and Requirements and record answers to the telephone interview questions for their interview.

  • Keep the telephone interview questions and their prepared answers available for the call.

  • Make sure they are registered on SIGMA VSS and have recorded their Vendor Number.

  • Write down any questions about participating in MSLRP they want to discuss during their interviews.

During telephone interviews, program staff will:

  • Determine whether providers are registered on SIGMA VSS.
  • Assess provider knowledge of the Participant Information and Requirements section of the MSLRP website and the Final Phase Application Process Steps and Requirements, and
  • Determine which providers continue in the Final Phase process.

For providers continuing in the Final Phase Process, staff will:

  • Explain and discuss the terms of their loan repayment agreements.
  • Answer questions about participating in the program, and
  • Discuss information and documents required to complete their applications, which is covered in the next section. Providers with complete applications at the time of their interviews will move directly to Final Phase Contracting. See 3. Final Phase Contracting Requirements, below

2. Final Phase Application Completion Requirements:
Providers who pass their telephone interviews will be informed of any documentation required to complete their applications before moving on to Final Phase Contracting.

  • This is the only opportunity for providers to complete their applications.

  • Providers, not their employers, must send a single email to Brittany Brookshire at BrookshireB1@michigan.gov to complete their applications.

  • Providers must email their Final Phase documentation to make it possible to link it with their application packages. Email sent by employers will cause confusion, will not be used to complete application packages, and cause the application to be screened out of the Final Phase process.

  • The single email sent by the provider, along with its attachments, must contain all of the information and documents required to complete the provider’s application package. Follow-up emails from the provider or their employer will result in the application being screened out.

  • Brittany Brookshire, MSLRP Coordinator, will acknowledge receipt of providers’ Final Phase documentation and confirm it will be placed in line for Final Phase Document Review.

  • Final Phase documents will be reviewed in the same order as they were received, based on email date. They will be reviewed as soon as possible, and providers will be notified as soon as their documentation is reviewed. This, however, may take several months, and providers are urged not to contact the MSLRP Office regarding the status of their documentation. Once it is reviewed, each provider will receive an email informing them whether their application has been:

  1. Screened out of the Final Phase process and why their documentation did not complete their application, or

  2. Completed by their Final Phase documentation and they are ready for Final Phase Contracting.

3. Final Phase Contracting Process and Requirements:
Providers who have complete applications at the time of their interviews, or complete their applications by sending Final Phase Documentation, will be placed on the Final Phase Contracting List in the same order as they complete their interviews or applications. Providers are urged to be patient and not contact the MSLRP Office, because it may be several weeks before they and their employers receive their MSLRP agreements.

  • Providers will receive their Personal Services Agreements (PSAs) in the order they appear on the Final Phase Contracting List. They will arrive as an attachment to an email from Brittany Brookshire, MSLRP Coordinator.
  • At the same time, their employers will receive an email from Brittany with their Revenue Agreements (RAs)attached.
  • Final phase contracting requirements are simple, but crucial. To be awarded an MSLRP loan repayment agreement, providers and their employers must:
  1. Read their respective agreements.
  2. Print their respective agreements.
  3. Sign and date their respective agreements.
  4. Keep a copy of their respective agreements for reference.
  5. Scan their respective signed and dated agreements so they can be included as attachments to the provider’s single email (see below.)
  6. Employers will need to email their signed, dated, and scanned agreements (RAs) to their providers as attachments in time to allow their providers to attach them to their single emails to Brittany Brookshire and send them by the due date.
  7. Providers, not employers, must email both the signed provider agreement as an attachment, and the signed employer agreement as an attachment, in a single email to Brittany Brookshire at BrookshireB1@michigan.gov by the required due date.

    Providers, not employers, must email the signed provider (PSA) and employer (RA) agreement as attachments in a single email to make it possible to link them with providers’ application packages. Emails sent by employers will cause confusion, will not be used, and will halt the contracting process.
  • Providers will have 10 business days from the date the MSLRP Office emails agreements to the due date for returning both their provider agreements and their employers’ agreements as attachments in a single email. The due date will appear in emails sent to providers and employers.
  • Providers and employers will need to check their email accounts on a regular basis because of the limited time available to return their signed and dated agreements.
  • Due dates will be the same for providers and their employers.
  • Providers and their employers will not need to sign one another’s agreements.
  • Providers are strongly encouraged to:
    1. Contact their employers about these requirements, and
    2. Remain in contact with their employers until they receive their employer’s signed agreement to include in the email to Brittany Brookshire.
       
  • Providers and employers must refrain from calling the MSLRP Office to inquire about when they will receive their agreement packages. They will be emailed as soon as possible. Providers and employers should only call the office after two months have passed since the provider has been notified they have been placed on the Final Phase Contracting List. If two months have passed and they have not received their agreement packages, providers should contact Brittany Brookshire at BrookshireB1@michigan.gov or (517) 284-4986
  • If providers or employers have questions about the content of their agreements, they should call Ken Miller at (517) 241-9946 as soon as possible. Agreement questions must be resolved in time to meet the required due date. Untimely inquires will result in the provider needing to reapply during the next application period.

4. Michigan State Loan Repayment Agreement Awards:
Like the rest of the MSLRP application process, Final Phase Contracting is competitive. MSLRP program funds must be obligated quickly to each provider’s loan repayment agreement or be used to allow another eligible applicant to participate. Providers who successfully complete Final Phase Contracting by emailing their signed and dated loan repayment agreements, as well as their employer’s agreement, as attachments in a single email to Brittany Brookshire by the due date will be awarded the agreement for which they have applied.

  • Each provider will receive an email from the MSLRP Office confirming they have been awarded a loan repayment agreement and encouraging them to inform their employer.
  • Their provider and employer agreements will be forwarded to the Bureau of Grants and Purchasing for the Department’s signature.
  • Upon return of their Department-signed agreements to the MSLRP Office, fully executed originals will be emailed to the provider and employer. It may take up to three months for this to occur, so please be patient. Loan repayment agreements of those who have been awarded will start on October 1, following the application period, regardless of when they receive their fully executed agreements.
  • Four Work Verification Forms (WVFs) will be included in providers’ fully-executed agreement packages.
  • Providers will send their properly dated WVFs to their employers to initiate each of their four six-month payment cycles. See the
    Payment Process section of Participant Information and Requirements for details.
  • Providers will receive their WVFs well before they need to send their first one, dated for March, to their
    employers.

If a provider is unable to email their signed and dated provider and employer agreements back to the MSLRP Office as attachment in a single email by the due date:

  • Funds set aside for the provider’s loan repayment agreement will be automatically transferred to another eligible applicant to allow them to participate in the program.
  • The provider will be encouraged to review final phase requirements and to reapply during the next application period.

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