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: