The Physician Education Loan Repayment Program (PELRP) provides loan repayment funds for up to $160,000 over a period of four years to qualifying physicians. Priority is given to primary care physicians who agree to practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for at least four years. Participating physicians must provide health care services to recipients enrolled in Medicaid and the Texas Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Also, up to ten physicians per year may qualify by serving patients in a Texas Juvenile Justice Department or Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility.
For primary eligibility requirements, award amounts, and other information, go to the PELRP Fact Sheet Feb. 2014.
State appropriations for the 2014-2015 budget period will allow the Coordinating Board to: (1) disburse all third and fourth-year awards for continuing participants in the program and (2) enroll new participants into the program for the first time since June of 2011.
New participants who were enrolled in the program on the basis of service beginning before August 31, 2013 in HPSAs or secure correctional facilities will qualify for four years of loan repayment awards from FY2014 funds, as long as they continue to meet program requirements.
The next quarterly application deadline for new applicants wishing to qualify for loan repayment awards based on service periods beginning September 1, 2014 or later (through the end of the quarter) is November 30, 2014.
Physicians who are already enrolled in the program will receive service verification forms approximately 30 days before the end of their current 12-month service periods.
To download the fillable application form, go to PELRP Application for Enrollment. Applications from primary care physicians practicing in HPSAs and secure correctional facilities will be ranked according to the priorities established in the current administrative rule for application ranking criteria.
Interested physicians may determine if a particular practice site is currently designated as a primary care HPSA or, in the case of psychiatrists, a mental HPSA, by entering the address using the following federal search tool: http://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/GeoAdvisor/ShortageDesignationAdvisor.aspx.
New Eligibility Path - Contingent on Availability of End-of-Year Funds
House Bill 2550, passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature, allows physicians who are not practicing in HPSAs or secure correctional facilities to qualify for participation in the PELRP, if during the applicable year, they have provided services to a designated minimum number of Medicaid or Texas Woman's Health Program enrollees.
Applications based on this provision that were received after September 1, 2014 will be considered during the quarter ending August 31, 2015, only if funds are available after financial commitments for state fiscal year 2016 have been made to physicians practicing in HPSAs and secure correctional facilities. The following service levels are required for consideration of applications under the new provision:
# of Unduplicated Clients
IMPORTANT: The source of data to be used in determining service levels will be the paid Medicaid claims and HMO encounter data for Medicaid and Texas Women's Health Program services provided by physicians applying for loan repayment.
It is IMPERATIVE that your own TPI and NPI be used if you are the rendering physician for claims/encounters submitted to Texas Medicaid Health Partner (TMHP), to be considered in the required client count.
Questions regarding the PELRP should be directed to the THECB by email or by calling 1-800-242-3062 (from outside the Austin area) or 512-427-6340 (Austin area).
For information on loan repayment through the National Health Service Corps, please visit: Texas Primary Care Office.