Physician Education Loan Repayment Program

The purpose of the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program (PELRP) is to encourage qualified physicians to practice medicine in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) as designated by the US Department of Health and Human Services, and to provide health care services to recipients under the medical assistance program authorized by the Texas Human Resources Code, Chapter 32, and to enrollees under the child health plan program authorized by the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 62.

For more details, review Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 23, Subchapter C.

To speak to a Customer Service Representative regarding loan repayment programs, call 833-597-0454, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.

Online Inquiries: CONTACT US (select “Financial Aid Question” as the Contact Reason) 

 

How to Apply

To complete an application, go to Physician Education Loan Repayment Program Application for Enrollment

 

Approved Primary Care Specialties

With the exception of psychiatrists and geriatricians, physicians must provide services in an outpatient setting to be considered primary care.

 

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for this program, applicants must meet the following primary requirements:

  

Award Amount

The following maximum annual award amounts apply to physicians whose initial applications for participation in the program was submitted on or after September 1, 2019: 

 

Eligible Loans

The following are requirements for a loan to be eligible for repayment through the program:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my site is located in a HPSA?
To verify if your site is located in a HPSA, go to the Health Resources and Services Administration Shortage Areas search page. The site address that needs to be verified is the site where you are physically working, not where the headquarters or administration office is located.

Do I have to commit to four years of service?
Yes. If you are working in a HPSA, you will have to commit to providing four years of service. However, if the funding is reduced or eliminated by the Texas Legislature, you will be released from the obligation. 

Do I have to apply each year?
Physicians who are practicing in a HPSA do not have to reapply. Subspecialists and physicians who are not practicing in a HPSA will have to reapply each year for potential funds. 

What happens if I leave the program? Do I have to pay back any money I received?
If you change locations and the new location is not a HPSA, you move out of the state, or you fail to meet any of the program requirements, you will be removed from the program. You will not be required to pay back any funds received but will not be allowed to apply for any loan repayment programs offered by the State of Texas.

What if I want to change practice sites?
Before changing practice sites, please contact our office to discuss the impact of such a change. If you wish to change practice sites, the new site must be in a HPSA for you to continue to be eligible for the program. 

How do you determine when my service period begins and ends?
The initial service period begins on the first day of the month following the date the application is received or the first date of employment, whichever is later. Once a service period is established, it will be the same for all years of participation.

Does my practice site have to have a high HPSA score?
No. The practice site does not need to have any particular HPSA score. However, the score may be used if ranking of applications takes place. 

I am a Hospitalist. Am I eligible?
No. You must be providing services in an outpatient setting.

How many people are allowed in the program?
This is dependent on available funding. For physicians working at a secure correctional facility, only 10 physicians are allowed in the program each year. 

How many Medicaid patients do I need to see?
There is no minimum number of Medicaid patients you need to see if you are practicing in a HPSA. Physicians who are conditionally approved and are not practicing in a HPSA will need to meet the following number of unduplicated Medicaid and/or Healthy Texas Women’s program clients: Family Medicine – 200, Internal Medicine – 200, OB/GYN – 200, Pediatrics – 200, Psychiatry – 150, and Geriatrics – 25.  This information will be verified by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  

I don’t have a TPI number. What is that?
A TPI number is a Texas Provider Number. Not every physician has one. You do need to have an NPI number, National Provider Number.

What is considered full-time?
Full-time is a minimum of 32 hours of direct patient care per week. 

Can I receive payment for part-time?
You can receive a pro-rated award for part-time employment as long as you are providing a minimum of 20 hours of direct patient care per week. 

Can I be faculty?
Yes. You can be faculty if you are also seeing your own patients for a minimum of 20 hours of direct patient care per week. 

Is the percentage of the award amount based on my original loan balance or my current loan balance?
The percentage is based on the verified loan balance at the time the application for enrollment is reviewed. If you owe less than the aggregate maximum award amount, the annual payment amounts will be the amounts needed to repay the loan over a period of four years.

When will I receive my award?
The annual award will be mailed to the lender after you have completed each year of service and all required documentation has been received and reviewed. 

I have been practicing for several years and just learned about this program. Can I receive funds for my previous years of service?
No. The years of service begin when you are enrolled into the program. Program funding does not allow for funding of prior years of service.