How is shortage designated? - Minnesota Dept. of Health

How is shortage designated?

The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC) identifies Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P) for Minnesota. Through these shortage area designations, high-need sites can meet eligibility criteria for a number of federal and state assistance programs.

ORHPC works with the Shortage Designation Branch (SDB) to establish HPSA designations.

In addition, ORHPC works with the SDB to establish the MUA/P designation, which is a prerequisite to requesting grant awards to plan, develop and operate a community health center under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act.

MUA/P designation involves the calculation of an Index of Medical Underservice (IMU) based on four variables:

  • Ratio of primary medical care physicians per 1,000 population,
  • Infant mortality rate,
  • % of the population with incomes below the poverty level, and
  • % of the population age 65 or over.

The value of each of these variables for the service area is converted to a weighted value, according to established criteria. The four values are summed to obtain the area, IMU score.

The federal Bureau of Health Professions has more information about HPSA and MUA/P criteria as well as a searchable database of federally designated HPSA and MUA/P.


For more information:
Carol Gronfor
Phone: 651–201–3842


Updated Monday, 05-Sep-2022 14:10:54 CDT