Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Tennessee Primary Care Association?
A. The Tennessee Primary Care Association is a not-for-profit corporation with the goal of strengthening community-based primary health care systems in Tennessee.

Q. Are you a clinic?
A. No. The Tennessee Primary Care Association does not provide health care. We are a membership association for providers of health care and other organizations and individuals with a special interest in health care for the underserved.

Q. How long has the Tennessee Primary Care Association been in existence?
A. We were founded in 1976.

Q. Who are Tennessee Primary Care Association's members?
A. The core members are Tennessee's federally-funded health centers. Other TPCA members include primary health care clinics throughout the state, health professions schools, health care consultants, and interested individuals.

Q. Tell me more about federally funded health centers.
A. They are private, not-for-profit, consumer-directed health care corporations that provide high-quality, cost-effective and comprehensive primary and preventive care to medically underserved and uninsured people. This nationwide network of safety net providers is primarily comprised of health centers that are supported by federal grants under the U.S. Public Health Service Act: Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers, Health Care for the Homeless Programs and Public Housing Primary Care Programs. These community-based providers are commonly referred to as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) because they meet rigorous federal standards related to quality of care, services, and cost, and they are qualified to receive cost-based reimbursement under Medicaid and Medicare law.

Q. Who can be a member of the Tennessee Primary Care Association?
A. TPCA membership is open to organizations, individuals, and associate members interested in or involved with the delivery of primary health care services to underserved populations.  For more information, please review the Join the Association page.

Q. What are the benefits of membership?
A. Through membership in TPCA, you will have the opportunity to network with peers, build relationships with elected officials and leaders, and participate in advocacy and training. The Association has a broad program with attention to health center finance, administration, and clinical issues. We are particularly focused on health care policy as advocates for a stronger primary health care system and assured access to care.

Other benefits of TPCA membership include:

  • Timely information. TPCA sends its members updates on the latest developments in primary health care and health care for the underserved through a variety of means.
  • Networking. TPCA provides opportunities for the primary health care community to meet and share experiences. For example: 1) financial managers across the state meet quarterly to discuss financial issues in administering health care; 2) TPCA's annual conferences bring together clinicians, administrators, board members, financial managers, support staff and anyone interested in primary health care to the underserved to attend workshops and meet like-minded individuals; 3) medical directors of organizational member clinics have organized a network with bi-annual meetings; 4) CEOs meet three times a year.
  • Influence political and regulatory decisions. TPCA finds sponsorship and advocates for public policy that will benefit community health centers and providers of health care to the underserved in Tennessee.

Q. What are the membership rates and how does someone join?
A. Organizational membership is based on your operating budget while there is a flat fee used for the various categories of individual and associate membership. Information about the different categories and fees is available on our Join the Association page. If you prefer, you may contact Susan Swartz for additional information.

Q. How can I find out more about the Association?
A. If you have more questions, you may contact Susan Swartz via email or phone at 615.425.5847.