THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

184

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to health.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that over fifty-eight million Americans reside in geographic areas or belong to population groups that are considered primary health care shortage areas. The demand for primary health care is projected to rise over the next five years. This increase in demand is largely due to population growth and aging and, to a smaller extent, expanded health insurance. As a result, the existing supply of physicians is unable to meet the demand for primary health care services.

In Hawaii, there is a shortage of approximately seven hundred physicians statewide. The issues contributing to Hawaii's physician shortage include:

(1) Low insurance reimbursement rates coupled with high volume reimbursement paperwork for physicians;

(2) High overhead expenses for rent and utilities for physicians to maintain their primary health care practices; and

(3) The State's overall high cost of living.

The physician shortage is expected to increase as Hawaii's population ages. The supply of physicians is also affected by University of Hawaii medical students moving to the mainland for jobs with higher financial incentives upon graduation.

The legislature further finds that recruiting and employing nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and psychologists are viable options to reduce the primary health care physician shortage in Hawaii. These health care professionals are educated and trained to examine, diagnose, and treat patients, and including them as members of a primary health care practice increases efficiency and effectiveness. However, these health care professionals are also in high demand and face the same financial issues as physicians. Thus, incentives are needed to increase the number of health care professionals to meet the increasing demand for primary health care services.

The purpose of this Act is to address the physician shortage in Hawaii by providing an income tax credit to health care providers that recruit and employ licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and psychologists to provide primary health care services.

SECTION 2. Chapter 235, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"235-   Primary health care provider income tax credit. (a) There shall be allowed to each taxpayer subject to the tax imposed under this chapter, a primary health care provider income tax credit that shall be deductible from the taxpayer's net income tax liability, if any, imposed by this chapter for the taxable year in which the credit is properly claimed.

(b) The primary health care provider income tax credit shall be equal to the qualified costs of the taxpayer, up to a maximum of $50,000 for the recruitment and employment of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and psychologists to provide primary health care services. Only one primary health care provider income tax credit shall be allowed in the applicable taxable year for each provider's practice that is registered to do business in the State. The primary health care provider income tax credit may only be claimed in two different taxable years.

(c) As used in this section:

"Nurse practitioner" means an advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 457.

"Physician assistant" means a person licensed under section 453-5.3.

"Primary health care provider" means any person, corporation, facility, or institution licensed by the State, including family practice physicians, internal medicine physicians, obstetricians, gynecologists, and psychiatrists, that provide primary health care services; provided that the primary health care provider shall recruit and employ at least one or more of the following health care professionals:

(1) A nurse practitioner;

(2) A physician assistant; or

(3) A psychologist.

"Primary health care services" means health care provided by physicians specifically trained for and skilled in comprehensive first contact and continuing care for persons with any undiagnosed sign, symptom, or health concern not limited by problem origin (biological, behavioral, or social), organ system, or diagnosis. Primary health care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings.

"Psychologist" means a person licensed under chapter 465.

"Qualified costs" means costs that are necessary and directly incurred by the taxpayer for recruiting and employing nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and psychologists to provide primary health care services.

(d) In the case of a partnership, S corporation, estate, or trust, the tax credit allowable is for qualified costs incurred by the entity for the taxable year. The costs upon which the tax credit is computed shall be determined at the entity level. Distribution and share of the credit shall be determined pursuant to section 704(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(e) If the tax credit under this section exceeds the taxpayer's income tax liability, the excess of the credit over the liability may be used as a credit against the taxpayer's income tax liability in subsequent years until exhausted. All claims for the tax credit under this section, including amended claims, shall be filed on or before the end of the twelfth month following the close of the taxable year for which the credit may be claimed. Failure to comply with this requirement shall constitute a waiver of the right to claim the credit.

(f) The director of taxation:

(1) Shall prepare any forms that may be necessary to claim a tax credit under this section;

(2) May require the taxpayer to furnish reasonable information to ascertain the validity of the claim for the tax credit made under this section; and

(3) May adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to implement the purposes of this section."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act, upon its approval, shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2016.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Income Tax Credit; Health Care Providers; Primary Care; Nurse Practitioners; Physician Assistants; Psychologists

 

Description:

Provides an income tax credit to primary health care providers that recruit and employ licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and psychologists to provide primary health care services.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.