Texas Primary Care Office (TPCO) - Definitions

Definitions and Acronyms commonly used by the Texas Primary Care Office

3RNet

The National Rural Recruitment & Retention Network.  This is a free job search and recruiting resource.

AHEC

Acronym for Area Health Education Center.

Area Health Education Center

An Area Health Education Center is a resource for students and other career seekers interested in health careers and for communities and providers who want to improve the health of their communities.  There are four Area Health Education Center (AHEC) programs that serve the State of Texas: Texas AHEC East, South Texas AHEC, Rio Grande Valley AHEC, and West Texas AHEC. Each program has regional AHEC centers to serve several counties.

Bureau of Health Workforce

The Bureau of Health Workforce strengthens the health workforce and connect skilled health care providers to communities in need to improve the health of people who need it most.

Bureau of Primary Health Care

The Bureau of Primary Health Care funds health centers in underserved communities, providing access to high quality, family oriented, comprehensive primary and preventive health care for people who are low-income, uninsured or face other obstacles to getting health care through the Health Center Program (See Federally Qualified Health Centers).

BHW

Acronym for HRSAs Bureau of Health Workforce

BPHC

Acronym for HRSAs Bureau of Primary Health Care

Board Certified

The status of a provider who has passed the appropriate specialty board examination and completed the certification requirements established by a specialty board and has been certified as a specialist in a particular field

Board Eligible

A provider who has completed all educational requirements and is eligible to take the appropriate specialty board examination

Bonafide Student Loans

Bonafide student loans are Government and commercial loans for actual costs paid for tuition and reasonable educational and living expenses related to the undergraduate or graduate education of the participant at an accredited U.S. institution.

Children's Health Insurance Program

The Children's Health Insurance Program, authorized by the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 62.

CHIP

Acronym for the Children's Health Insurance Program

CMLRP

Acronym for the Children's Medicaid Loan Repayment Program administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. (This program is no longer funded)

CMS

Acronym for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  This is a federal office under Health and Human Services.

Current Service Obligation

A contractual obligation for service to the Federal Government (e.g., an active military obligation, a National Health Service Corps or Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program obligation), a State (e.g., Children's Medicaid Loan Repayment Program, Physician Education Loan Repayment Program, Dental Education Loan Repayment Program, or scholarship program obligation) that has not been completed.

Those with current service obligations are not eligible to apply for any loan repayment program until the obligation has been completed.

Conrad 30

The Conrad 30 waiver program allows J-1 foreign medical graduates (FMGs) to apply for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. 

DELRP

Acronym for the Dental Education Loan Repayment Program administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.. (This program is no longer funded)

DSHS

Acronym for the Texas Department of State Health Services

Facility

Practice location, such as clinic, health center, outpatient setting, etc. Eligibility of practice locations as loan repayment sites varies between programs.

Facility NPI #

This is the standard, unique, national identifier for health care facilities.

Faculty

Health professionals who are responsible for supervising, training and teaching health care delivery to medical or dental students, trainees, residents or fellows, whether employed directly by a university or teaching hospital practice group at a medical school, institutional sponsor of a graduate medical education program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or a nonprofit health corporation certified under Section 162.001 and affiliated by ACGME.

Federally Qualified Health Center

Federally Qualified Health Centers are community-based organizations that provide comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including healthoral, and mental health/substance abuse services to persons of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay. FQHCs are only those clinics that receive Section 330 funding from HRSA's BPHC.

Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alikes 

Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alikes are community-based health care providers that meet the requirements of the HRSA Health Center Program, but do not receive Health Center Program funding. 

FMG

Acronym for a Foreign Medical Graduate.  This is a person who completed medical school in a country other than the United States.

FQHC

Acronym for Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Full time service

An average of at least 32.5 hours of direct patient care per week during the service period at the HPSA practice site.

Health Professional Shortage Area

The Health Professional Shortage Area, is a geographic area, population group, public or nonprofit private medical facility or other facility determined by the Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services to have a shortage of health care professionals. Shortages of three professions are recognized by this program: primary medical care, dental, and mental or behavioral health professions.

HHS

Acronym for the Federal Office of Health and Human Services.

HHSC

Acronym for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

HPSA

Acronym for a Federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area

HPSA Score

A number used to indicate the severity or degree of shortage in a HPSA. A higher number indicates a greater need.

HRSA

Acronym for the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration

Incentive Program

When a certain number of years of service as a healthcare provider is exchanged for student loan repayment assistance or a visa waiver

LAL

Acronym for Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alikes 

LRPMHP

Acronym for the Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Providers administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Medicaid

State and Federal cooperative venture that provides medical coverage to eligible needy persons. The medical assistance program authorized by Chapter 32, Texas Human Resources Code.

Medicaid TPI#

Texas Provider Identifier number: This is the standard, unique identifier for health care providers in Texas.

Medically Underserved Area

A geographic area determined to, and designated by, the Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services as having lack of access to primary care services.

Medically Underserved Population

A specific population in a geographic area determined to, and designated by, the Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services as having lack of access to primary care services.

MUA

Acronym for a Federally designated  Medically Underserved Area.  

MUA/P

Acronym for a Federally designated  Medically Underserved Area or Medically Underserved Population.  

MUP

Acronym for a Federally designated Medically Underserved Population.  .  

NHSC

Acronym for the National Health Service Corps.

NPI #

National Provider Identifier number: This is the standard, unique, national identifier for health care providers.

PELRP

Acronym for the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Program

The student loan repayment incentive or visa waiver that a healthcare professional is enrolled in, or applying to.

RCHIP

Acronym for the Rural Community Healthcare Investment Program administered by the State Office of Rural Health.

RHC or Rural Health Clinic

A clinic that meets federal requirements and is certified by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Service Obligation

This is the length of time a provider must work to receive a specific incentive

Service Period

A 12-month time frame during which the program participants must meet all of the requirements for remaining eligible for loan repayment funds

SORH

Acronym for the State Office of Rural Health.  The SORH for Texas is housed in the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Specialty

The provider’s field of practice.

Student Loan Servicer

A student loan servicer is the financial institution that collects payments, processes deferment and forbearance requests and handles correspondence on behalf of the lender.

Subspecialty

A highly specific field of practice requiring additional training beyond what is required of any given specialty.

Subspecialty Board Certified

The status of a provider who has passed the appropriate subspecialty board examination and completed the certification requirements established by a subspecialty board and has been certified as a subspecialist in a particular field.

Subspecialty Board Eligible

A provider who has completed all educational requirements, and is eligible to take the appropriate subspecialty board examination.

Texas Primary Care Office (TPCO)

Texas Primary Care Office, through a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration, works with health care providers and communities to improve access to care for the underserved, by recruiting and retaining providers to practice in federally designated shortage areas and serve underserved populations.

THECB

Acronym for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

TMHP

Acronym for the Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership

Underserved Area

This is a general term for an area or population that is underserved in regard to healthcare.  It could be indicated with a HPSA, MUA, or MUP designation; but is often mistaken for the federal MUA designation.

Visa Waiver

When the return home requirement of a J-1 Visa for Foreign Medical Graduates is waived in return for the physician working in an underserved area. (See Conrad 30)


Last updated June 30, 2020