Texas Primary Care Office (TPCO) - Definitions


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.

CHIP or Children's Health Insurance Program

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


Acronym for the Children's Medicaid Loan Repayment Program

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.


Acronym for the Dental Education Loan Repayment Program


Acronym for the Texas Department of State Health Services


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

Facility Medicaid TPI#

This is the standard, unique numerical identifier for health care facilities in Texas.

Facility NPI #

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


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.

FQHC or Federally Qualified Health Center

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are community-based organizations that provide comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including health, oral, 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 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

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.


Acronym for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

HPSA or 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.

HPSA Score

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

Lagging County

Counties that are below the state averages for timeliness of medical and/or dental checkup services for Texas Health Steps eligible persons.


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.


Acronym for the National Health Service Corps.


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


Acronym for the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program.

Primary Care Specialty

Family medicine, family practice, general practice, obstetrics/gynecology, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, medicine-pediatrics, psychiatry, or geriatrics.


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

RHC or Rural Health Clinic

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

Rural HPSA

A HPSA-designated county or a HPSA-designated area or population in a county of less than 50,000 people.  This definition is used for some loan repayment programs.

Seasoned Providers

Providers who have 1 or more years of practice experience not including training or residency.

Service Obligation

The service obligation for the all loan repayment programs is 4 consecutive 12-month service periods.

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


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.


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.


Acronym for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Underserved area with respect to Dental Care.

Federally designated Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas of Texas (Dental HPSAs), federally funded community health clinics in Texas.

Last updated June 14, 2011