I’M AWARE OF A PHYSICIAN CURRENTLY EMPLOYED BY MISSION HOSPITAL WHO HAS TO MOVE DUE TO THE SALE TO A FOR- PROFIT CORPORATION, HCA HEALTHCARE. THE DOCTOR HAS STUDENT LOANS THAT CAN BE FORGIVEN UNDER A PROGRAM THAT SAYS IF YOU WORK FOR A NON-PROFIT FOR 10 YEARS AFTER GRADUATION, YOU CAN GET LOANS FORGIVEN OR LESSENED. ANOTHER UNSEEN CONSEQUENCE THAT MAY BE LARGER THAN FOLKS ARE AWARE OF. IS MISSION GOING TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?

I’M AWARE OF A PHYSICIAN CURRENTLY EMPLOYED BY MISSION HOSPITAL WHO HAS TO MOVE DUE TO THE SALE TO A FOR- PROFIT CORPORATION, HCA HEALTHCARE. THE DOCTOR HAS STUDENT LOANS THAT CAN BE FORGIVEN UNDER A PROGRAM THAT SAYS IF YOU WORK FOR A NON-PROFIT FOR 10 YEARS AFTER GRADUATION, YOU CAN GET LOANS FORGIVEN OR LESSENED. ANOTHER UNSEEN CONSEQUENCE THAT MAY BE LARGER THAN FOLKS ARE AWARE OF. IS MISSION GOING TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?

We certainly understand and share your concern about the potential impact on student loans. While we are sensitive to any potentially impacted individual’s concern, please bear in mind that this is a federal program and not a benefit that is provided by Mission.  The program itself has only existed since 2007, with an enhancement by the Obama administration in 2010.

Currently, the program is dramatically under-funded which puts its long-term sustainability in doubt for all participants, whether working for a non-profit or not. Further, there have been numerous federal discussions about eliminating the program in its entirety and it is extraordinarily complex even for those who believe that they are in it, to actually determine whether they qualify and when – if ever – they will benefit from the program. See for example: Panicked Borrowers, and the Education Department’s Unsettling Silence , A Student Loan Fix for a Teacher, and Many Other Public Servants or Who Is a Public Servant? Borrowers Have a Lot Riding on the Answer.

All participants are expected to submit an employer attestation each year they participate in the program (see:https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service); at Mission Health, there are less than seventy such individuals who have done so but there are just over two hundred who currently perceive that they are in the program. All that said, we share the concern about any potential impact on student loans, and we are investigating whether there are any realistic options to mitigate or eliminate those concerns.  Unfortunately, it is too early to have any definitive guidance at this time, but we will communicate more as any options become clearer.