Healthcare Workforce Development Division
Frequently Asked Questions
Select a program for specific FAQs:
State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
- Who may participate in the program?
Physicians (MD and DO) practicing in general internal medicine, family practice, general pediatrics, geriatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN); physician assistants; nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives; general practice dentists (DDS or DMD), dental hygienist; psychiatrists; health service psychologists; licensed clinical social workers; marriage and family therapists; psychiatric nurse specialists; and licensed professional counselors.
- What types of loans are eligible?
Government and commercial loans incurred for the purpose of obtaining a health professional education. Qualifying commercial lending institutions are those that are subject to examination and supervision, in their capacity as lenders, by an agency of the United States or of the State in which the institutions have their principal place of business.
- Where do applicants get a provider application for the State Loan Repayment Program?
An application can be downloaded from the California State Loan Repayment Program web site.
- When is the SLRP application deadline?
The application period is August 1 through October 1 of each year.
- What are the site requirements?
To be eligible, sites must be 1) a public or private non-profit and be located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or an Automatic Facility HPSA, 2) willing to commit to two-year employment, 3) match the State Award, 4) pay prevailing wages, and 5) enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of California.
- How can my site become an eligible site?
A site application can be downloaded from the California State Loan Repayment Program web site. The application needs to be filled out and submitted to the address listed on the application. Once your site submits an application, it can take 6-8 weeks to process.
- How does my clinic get a Health Professional Shortage Area designation?
Contact the Shortage Designation Program staff at (916) 326-3700.
- What are the differences between the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) and the State Loan Repayment Program?
One major difference is the site requirement: the LRP requires the site to have a minimum HPSA score, while the SLRP does not consider the HPSA score. Additionally, the LRP pays 100 percent of the award while the SLRP requires the site to match the State award (50/50).
- How much money can I receive?
For a minimum two-year commitment for full-time service, providers can receive up to $60,000. Half-time options are also available. For futher information, please review the Program Fact Sheet at California State Loan Repayment Program web site.
- Does SLRP staff assist with job placement at eligible sites?
A list of Certified Eligible Sites can be obtained on the California State Loan Repayment Program web site. SLRP staff is unable to assist with job placement. Therefore, providers must contact eligible sites directly for placement information.
- What is the best way to contact SLRP for more information?
SLRP program staff can be reached at (916) 326-3700. Please note, due to limited resources and workload, general response time is two business days for most inquiries.
To view additional FAQs, please visit the California State Loan Repayment Program web site.
Health Careers Training Program (HCTP)
Shortage Designation Program (SDP)
- What is an Automatic Facility HPSA Designation?
The federal government grants a HPSA designation to HRSA funded clinics and health centers that agree to provide care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Automatic Designation allows the provider sites to recruit NHSC scholars and Loan Repayment recipients and other types of federal assistance.
- How is an Automatic Designation different from the conventional process?
Automatic designation is not obtained through a formal application process. You and your satellite sites are eligible as long as you are a HRSA funded or Rural Health Clinic site as described in the Heath Care Safety Net Amendments. To access these amendments, please visit the following website: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/shortage/hpsas/facilityscoring.html.
- Is there a drawback to Automatic Designation?
The lack of a detailed analysis determined by a conventional score may not accurately reflect the actual population(s) and medical needs being served and therefore may negatively affect the level and type of assistance for which the practice site qualifies. While it uses similar variables - populations-to-provider ratios, distance/travel time to nearest site, poverty rates, and infant mortality/low birth weight rate - to establish need, it is not site-specific and the automatic score draws from the status of the established, neighboring "parent" site. (For more information go to the federal Bureau of Health Professions at: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/shortage/hpsas/facilityscoring.html.
- Are facilities with Automatic Designation eligible for all of the same program assistance as sites with a conventional HPSA score?
State administered programs, such as State Loan Repayment and Conrad J-1 Visa, do not require a conventional HPSA score for their placements. However, federally administered HRSA programs, such as National Scholars, and Federal Loan Repayment, J1-Visa Waiver, and Ready Responders rely on HPSA scores to prioritize resource allocation and level of assistance.
- How do HPSA scores affect a practice site's personnel recruitment or funding?
HRSA administered placement programs, such as the NHSC/Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program, J1 Visa Waiver Program, and NHSC Ready Responders Program all require minimum scores for certain personnel placements. Additionally, higher HPSA scores are prioritized for continued funding, increasing the likelihood that the site can maintain its personnel through ongoing service commitments.
- What scores should NHSC Scholarship Program participants look for when researching placement opportunities?
Score requirements change every program cycle, please go to the following link for more information: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov.
- How do HPSA scores affect Federal Loan Repayment Programs?
Score requirements change every program cycle, please go to the following link for more information: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov..
- I think our site qualifies for Automatic Designation. Whom do we contact?
Contact the PCO at (916) 326-3734 or (916) 326-3782, or check out the website: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/shortage/hpsas/facilityscoring.html
- What happens when the Automatic Designation expires?
Sites will have to reapply through the conventional process. Sites may have to contact the state's Primary Care Office (PCO) at (916) 326-3734 or (916) 326-3782 for Technical Assistance.
- Are language barriers for linguistically isolated groups examined to demonstrate need?
No. There are no provisions to demonstrate the inaccessibility of linguistically isolated groups as a barrier to healthcare access for a Geographic or low-income population designation.
- How do I find out what my census tract is?
Before you verify whether your clinic site is in a HPSA, begin by matching the physical address to a census tract using the following website: http://www.ffiec.gov/Geocode/default.aspx. To match your address to a census tract displayed on a map, please use the following U.S. Census Bureau site: FACTFINDER - Click on the "Street Address" link in the white "Address Search" box then enter a street address to find Census 2010 data.
- How do I get verification of MUA/MUP status for the Expanded Access to Primary Care (EAPC) grant application?
Visit the following website http://www.muafind.hrsa.gov/ and enter in the appropriate county information and search for your census tract number or MSSA. A copy of the MUA/MUP list is sufficient verification of MUA/MUP status.
- What are the benefits of a MUA/MUP?
The major benefits are: 1) qualify to apply for Section 330 Federal Grant for New Start and Expansion of community health clinics, and 2) eligibility to apply for a Rural Health Clinic Certification for prospective payment method.
- How do I apply for a MUA/MUP?
Visit the Shortage Designation website for instructions - for further information on this process, the PCO may be contacted at (916) 326-3734 or (916) 326-3782.
- What are the benefits of a HPSA?
For a Geographic HPSA, you qualify for the 10% Medicare incentive payment for Physician Services and recruitment and retention for providers through the NHSC/Scholar Placement and Loan Repayment Programs, NHSC/State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), and through the California Health Professions Education Foundation's Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs.
- How do I apply for a HPSA (Primary Care, Dental, and Mental Health)?
Contact the PCO at (916) 326-3734 or (916) 326-3782, and they will provide you with federal guidelines, 2010 Claritas population data, Maps, Worksheets, and a sample of a provider list survey.
- What is an MSSA?
Each MSSA is composed of one or more complete census tracts. As a general rule, MSSAs are recognized by the Federal Shortage Designation Branch to be "rational service areas (RSAs)" for purposes of designating health professional shortage areas (HPSAs), medically underserved areas (MUAs) or medically underserved populations (MUPs).
- How many MSSAs are there in California?
541 total: 56 Frontier, 299 Urban, and 186 Rural.
- What MSSA am I located in?
1) Provide the physical address to identify the census tract using the following website: http://www.ffiec.gov/Geocode/default.aspx
2) contact the Shortage Designation Program at (916) 326-3734 or (916) 326-3782 for detailed instructions.
- How do I find out if a MSSA is HPSA designated?
Please review the document titled Technical Assistance.
- Can I get a map of different counties or MSSAs?
Yes, maps are available by request at (916) 326-3782 or (916) 326-3734.
- How do I find my demographic & socioeconomic data?
Download and save the "Medical Service Study Area (MSSA) Census Tract Detail" document at: http://www.atlas.ca.gov/download.html#/casil/health - the file will download as a Zip and is available in Access once the file is Unzipped.
- How do I calculate my provider to population ratio?
40 hours equals 1 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE). Find the total number of FTEs for the area you are researching by conducting a provider survey and divide the total population by the FTEs to get population to provider ratio.
- How do I find out the low-birth weight data for a Primary Care HPSA?
Use the following website to find out the low birth weight for your county: http://www.cfpa.net/ - go to the white box on the bottom of the page and enter your county name. The first link given should be "County Nutrition Profile," and you will find all appropriate data on this site.
- Does the total civilian population include Migrant Farmworkers?
No, the civilian population does not include Migrant Farmworkers and excludes the non-institutionalized population.
- Are State Correctional Facilities eligible for HPSA designations?
Yes, Primary Care, Dental, and Mental Facility HPSAs.
- What types of State Correctional Facilities are eligible for designation?
The Facility must be medium and maximum security to qualify. Exceptions to this rule have previously been made if supported by a reasonable argument, with arguments being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Song-Brown Workforce Training Program
- Who is eligible to apply for Song-Brown Health Care Workforce Training Act funding?
Accredited family practice residency programs, physician assistant/family nurse practitioner programs and registered nurse programs can apply for funding.
- Can students apply for Song-Brown Health Care Workforce Training Act funding?
No, funding is not available to individual students. However, students do benefit from this program if the training program they are participating in has been awarded Song-Brown funding.
- Who determines which training programs receive funding from the Song-Brown Health Care Workforce Training Act?
The California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission (Commission) which is composed of 15 members who shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authorities:
- (a) Nine members appointed by the Governor, as follows:
- (1) One representative of the University of California medical schools, from a nominee or nominees submitted by the University of California.
- (2) One representative of the private medical or osteopathic schools accredited in California from individuals nominated by each of these schools.
- (3) One representative of practicing family physicians.
- (4) One representative who is a practicing osteopathic physician or surgeon and who is board certified in either general or family practice.
- (5) One representative of undergraduate medical students in a family practice program or residence in family practice training.
- (6) One representative of trainees in a primary care physician's assistant program or a practicing physician's assistant.
- (7) One representative of trainees in a primary care nurse practitioners program or a practicing nurse practitioner.
- (8) One representative of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, from nominees submitted by the office director.
- (9) One representative of practicing registered nurses.
- (b) Two consumer representatives of the public who are not elected or appointed public officials, one appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and one appointed by the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Rules.
- (c) Two representatives of practicing registered nurses, one appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and one appointed by the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Rules.
- (d) Two representatives of students in a registered nurse training program, one appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and one appointed by the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Rules.
- (e) The Chief of the Health Professions Development Program in the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, or the chief's designee, shall serve as executive secretary for the commission.
- (a) Nine members appointed by the Governor, as follows:
- Are the Commission meetings open to the public?
Yes, the meetings are open to the public. The meetings are held in correlation with the Request for Application filing period. Programs that apply for Song-Brown funding are given the opportunity to make presentations to the Commission regarding their program.
- When do training programs apply for Song-Brown Health Care Workforce Training Act funding?
HWCDD releases requests for applications (RFA) on an annual basis for each funding program. For more information, go to the Song-Brown web page.
Health Workforce Pilot Project Program (HWPP)
- What is the Health Workforce Pilot Project Program?
HWPP is a program that supports the piloting of healthcare delivery concepts. It provides the opportunity for healthcare related organizations to demonstrate, test, and evaluate new or expanded roles for healthcare professionals. by providing the legal framework for the demonstration of new ideas.
- What types of projects does the state pilot?
The healthcare industry is invited to think about innovations in the role of the health care worker (personnel) with the changing mode of health care delivery. The pilot projects may involve expanding the scope of practice for licensed health professionals for:
- The role of medical auxiliaries
- The role of nursing
- The role of dental auxiliaries
- The role of maternal child care personnel
- The role of pharmacy personnel
- The role of mental health personnel
- And other healthcare personnel (ex. chiropractic, podiatric, geriatric, therapy personnel, veterinary, and the healthcare technician.)
- What skills are expanded or developed?
The pilot project may involve teaching new skills to existing categories of health care personnel, developing new categories of health care personnel, accelerating the training of existing categories of health care personnel, and teaching new health care roles to previously untrained persons.
Example: The Dental Hygiene Access to Care Project's. The goal of the pilot project was to determine whether registered dental hygienists could provide care safely and effectively in an independent practice setting. In 1997, the Dental Practice Act was amended to establish a Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice as a new category of dental auxiliary.
- What are the outcomes of the pilot projects and/or what happens next?
The HWPP program monitors the program in progress, collects and analyzes data generated by pilot projects, and develops a report with conclusions and sometimes recommendations regarding changing the laws that affect the specific health profession to reflect the pilot project concept. A closing report is provided to the Legislature upon request.
- Who may apply?
Non-profit education institutions, community hospitals, clinics, and governmental agencies engaged in health or education activities may apply to HWPP program.
- How do institutions/agencies apply to the HWPP program?
The HWPP program will provide an application and indicate the time frame and steps involved in considering the project proposal.
- What type of funding is available to support the project? How much is available thru HWPP program?
The HWPP program does not have or provide funding to pilot project applicants. The applicants must seek their own funding and as part of the application demonstrate and indicate the funding required for piloting the project and the funding source.
- Are all HWPP applications approved?
No. The HWPP program review applications for appropriateness and completeness as required in the regulations. If the application meets the requirements as set forth in regulations, various healing arts boards and related health professions organizations will review the application. The Director will consider recommendations submitted to him by the HWPP, which include a summary of the discussions from the public review of application-public meeting or public hearing-and the recommendations submitted by the healing arts boards and related health professions organizations.
Maps, GIS, and Data
- Can I get a map of HPSA, and MUA/MUP,designations for a particular county?
Maps can be created by request. Please call 916-326-3700.
- Can I get a map showing census tracts in a particular MSSA?
Please visit the MSSA page.
- Can I get a map showing HPSA Designations in California?
- Can I get a map showing Medically Underserved Populations and Areas in California?
- Can I get a map showing Urban, Rural and Frontier Areas in California?
- Can I get a map showing practitioners and or facilities in California?
Maps can be created by request. Please call 916-326-3700.
- Can I get a map showing practitioners and or facilities for a particular MSSA or County?
Maps can be created by request. Please call 916-326-3700.
- Where can I get demographic and provider data for a particular Census Tract, MSSA or County?
Selected data are available on the "Dashboard" go to http://gis.ca.gov/catalog/BrowseCatalog.epl?id=1044
This page was last updated on Friday, January 6, 2017.
- Healthcare Workforce Development Division
- Health Careers Training Program (HCTP)
- Healthcare Workforce Clearinghouse
- Health Workforce Pilot Projects (HWPP)
- California Primary Care Office (PCO)
- County Medical Services Program (CMSP) Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
- National Health Service Corps (NHSC) / California State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
- Shortage Designation Program (SDP)
- Song-Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Programs
- Research, Policy and Planning GIS/Data System
- Workforce Education and Training Program (WET)
- Health Care Reform
- Publications and Reports
- Healthcare Pathways