20-25-810. Contract requirements for university of Washington cooperative medical education program. (1) (a) An individual accepted into the cooperative medical education program with the university of Washington school of medicine shall, before confirming enrollment in the program, enter into a contract specifying whether the individual will commit to entering active full-time professional practice in Montana for a period of 3 years within 1 year of obtaining professional status.
(b) Residency in a family medicine residency program in Montana must be credited toward the practice requirement of this section at a rate of one-third year for each year of service in the residency program.
(2) An individual who decides against committing to entering full-time professional practice in Montana shall pay 2.5 times the fee established in 20-26-1502. The fee must be deposited in the state special revenue account provided for in 20-26-1501.
(3) (a) An individual who fails to honor a commitment to return to Montana to enter full-time professional practice for the full 3-year period shall repay the full amount of the individual medicine support fee paid by the state for the individual's medical education.
(b) Repayment must begin within 1 year of obtaining professional status and must be completed within 10 years of the date the repayment requirement began.
(c) Interest must accrue at the time the loan becomes due at a rate equal to the rate for the federal Stafford loan, adjusted annually but not to exceed 8%.
(4) The repayment obligation may be:
(a) suspended if repayment is temporarily impossible or would create extreme hardship for a temporary period, including but not limited to suspension for medical reasons, personal reasons, parental leave, or call to active duty in the armed forces; or
(b) waived if repayment is permanently impossible or would create extreme hardship, including but not limited to death, inability to complete the program, or inability to obtain professional status due to disability or another reason.
(5) The board of regents may adopt policies to carry out the provisions of this section including but not limited to:
(a) determination of the time at which an individual obtains professional status; and
(b) the circumstances under which repayment of the medicine support fee may be suspended or waived.