HRSA develops shortage designation criteria and uses them to decide whether or not a geographic area, population group or facility is a Health Professional Shortage Area or a Medically Underserved Area or Population.
Programs that use HPSAs to determine eligibility may utilize the HPSA data as of a certain date in time in order to facilitate program operations. To locate NHSC approved sites with eligible HPSAs and the corresponding HPSA scores for use in the National Health Service Corps programs, individuals should refer to the NHSC Jobs Center. Find HPSAs, MUAs and MUPs by state, county or street address.
Please note: not all programs that use the HPSA or MUA/MUP designation to determine eligibility use them in the same way. The National Health Service Corps uses HPSA data as of a certain date.
To find approved National Health Service Corps sites and their HPSA scores, please use the NHSC Jobs Center. The Medicare Physician Bonus Payment program uses only geographic HPSAs. To find eligible HPSAs, please use Find HPSAs eligible for the Medicare Physician Bonus Payment.
HPSAs may be designated as having a shortage of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers. They may be urban or rural areas, population groups or medical or other public facilities.
As of January 1, 2014:
Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) may be a whole county or a group of contiguous counties, a group of county or civil divisions or a group of urban census tracts in which residents have a shortage of personal health services.
Medically Underserved Populations (MUPs) may include groups of persons who face economic, cultural or linguistic barriers to health care.
These programs benefit HPSAs and MUAs/Ps
Health Center Program grants support access to primary care in underserved areas
Rural Health Clinic Program provides cost-based reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare HPSA Bonus Payment provides reimbursement to physicians in underserved areas
National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs helps underserved communities recruit and retain primary medical, dental and mental/behavioral health professionals
Indian Health Service Scholarship Program supports health professions students who will work in IHS facilities after graduation
Exchange Visitor Program enables foreign physicians to obtain J-1 visas and work in shortage areas
Conrad State 30 Program allows States 30 J-1 visa waivers each year in exchange for service in a shortage area