The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said it will disburse about $4 million in 48 awards to primary-care physicians and other providers as an incentive to work in the New Orleans area for the next three years.
Intended to help rebuild the healthcare workforce in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes, the awards will be given to applicants of the Greater New Orleans Health Service Corps, a $15 million program funded through an HHS grant.
While 70% of the funding is dedicated to recruiting new providers in the area, 30% is intended to provide retention incentives.
The department said it has received 172 applications from physicians, dentists, midlevel providers, behavioral-health providers and pharmacists since it began accepting applications in early April.
Applicants may customize their awards to include up to $110,000 in loan repayment or income guarantees, up to $40,000 for sign-on bonuses or malpractice premium payments, up to $20,000 for relocation expenses and up to $10,000 for health information technology continuing education expenses, but certain specialties are eligible to receive more funding than others, the department said in a news release.
Recipients will receive their awards in one lump sum, and those who have submitted the necessary paperwork will receive the funding right away, said a spokeswoman for the department. A second round of awards will be announced on May 28. -- by Jessica Zigmond