H.R. 5102, Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act
On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, the House will consider H.R.5102, the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act, under suspension of the rules. This bill was introduced on February 27, 2018 by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote on May 9, 2018.
H.R. 5102 creates a loan repayment program for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers. Specifically, the legislation offers student loan repayment of up to $250,000 for participants who agree to work as a SUD treatment professional in areas most in need of their services. The program is available to a wide range of direct care providers, including physicians, registered nurses, social workers, and other behavioral health professionals. The bill authorizes $25 million a year for the 2019-2028 period.
Serious workforce shortages exist for health professionals and paraprofessionals across the United States. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 2012, the turnover rates in the addiction services workforce ranged from 18.5 percent to over 50 percent. In a recent survey, nearly half of clinical directors in agencies specializing in SUD treatment acknowledged that they had difficulty filling open positions, primarily because of a lack of qualified applicants.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R 5102 would cost $100 million over the 2019-2023 period, with the remaining authorized amounts being spent after 2023. (page 14).
For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.