Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of the Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Program?
The program is intended to help recruit certain health professions by providing a financial incentive for them to fill vacancies in health care facilities.
- How does the program work?
The program provides $10,000 directly to each health professional who has entered into a three-way contract and completed a three-year service obligation. The professional must provide full-time services within their occupation at an employing facility in South Dakota.
The payment each health professional receives is split between the state and the employing facility. The proportion each pays is dependent on the size of the community in which the facility is located. Communities of 2500 or less pay 25% of the $10,000. Communities over 2500 pay 50% of the $10,000. The community portion of the payment can be made any time; the state payment occurs only after completion of the three-year service obligation.
- When does the health professional receive the incentive payment?
The community portion of the payment can be made any time; the state payment occurs only after completion of the three-year service obligation.
- Who submits the application and when can it be submitted?
Health professionals cannot submit applications. Rather, the application must be submitted by the facility that is or will be employing the health professional. Applications will be accepted beginning May 1 each year and should be submitted to the Office of Rural Health.
- What types of facilities are eligible for the program?
In order to be eligible, the employing facility must be located in a South Dakota community with a population of 10,000 or less. Eligible facility types include: ambulance services, licensed hospitals, nursing facilities, licensed inpatient chemical dependency facilities, federally qualified health centers, home health agencies, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, community support providers, community mental heath centers, and end-stage renal disease facilities.
- What types of health professionals are eligible for the program?
In order to enter into a Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Agreement, the health professional must be a full-time employee and either: a) have an unrestricted South Dakota license within the following professions:
Dietitian or Nutritionist Pharmacist Nurse (LPN or RN) Physical Therapist Occupational Therapist Paramedic Respiratory Therapist
Healthcare Social Worker
- What do you mean by full-time?
Full-time is not less than 36 hours of professional services weekly for a minimum of 48 weeks per year.
- Are there any other program requirements?
Yes, the health professional must be a new employee at an eligible facility. A new employee is defined as an eligible health professional who has been employed within their occupation at an eligible facility for no longer than nine months prior to the date the Office of Rural Health receives the application.
- I've been working at an eligible facility for more than nine months; do I still qualify for the program?
No, an eligible health professional must be a new employee, meaning that the individual cannot have been employed for more than nine months by the facility prior to receipt of the application.
- Will every eligible applicant be accepted?
The program has a limited number of slots available and selects eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis from July through December, or from July until the annual quota as provided by SDCL 34-12G-12 has been met, whichever comes first. There is also a limit of three participants per facility. If a facility submits applications for more than three eligible health professionals, preference will be given to an application proposing to hire a new graduate.
- How will I know if I have been selected for the program?
The facility submitting the application will be notified if an application has been selected starting in July. The next step in the process involves the three-party Recruitment Assistance Agreement which will need to be signed by an authorized representative of the facility, the health professional receiving payment, and the state..
- Do I have to pay taxes on the payments I received from the facility and the state?
Yes, the payments made to participants are regarded as income by the IRS.
- Where can one get an application for the program?
Applications are available on the Department of Health website beginning May 1. You can also request an application from the Office of Rural Health, South Dakota Department of Health, 600 E. Capital Ave., Pierre, SD 57501 or by phone at 605-773-2706.
- Who do I contact for more information?
For more information contact the South Dakota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health, 600 E. Capitol, Pierre, 57501; phone 1-800-738-2301 or email.