Shortage Designations

Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)

Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) are service areas or population groups that have been designated as having too few primary medical care, dental, or mental health providers to meet the needs of the population. These shortages may be geographic-, population-, or facility-based:

View our interactive map of Shortage Designations: (Click on the map)

We also have hard copy PDF maps available here:

(Use the HPSA Find website to locate a HPSA)


On March 6, 2019, OPCRH hosted a technical assistance webinar for all auto-HPSA facilities. If you were unable to attend, you can download and view a recording. Thanks for your participation!

Click here to download

What is an auto-HPSA?

An auto-HPSA is a facility that meets the criteria to be considered a HPSA, such as serving an underserved population. The following facility types are eligible to become an auto-HPSA:

  • Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs),
  • FQHC Look-a-likes (LALs),
  • CMS certified rural health clinics (RHCs), or
  • Certified Indian Health Services facilities/tribal facilities/Urban Indian Centers (ITUs).

Each auto-HPSA is assigned a score, based on various factors, including the population to provider ratio; travel time and distance to the nearest source of accessible care, outside the facility; and the percent of the patient population at 100% FPL or below. Other factors are considered, based on HPSA discipline:

  • Primary Care
    • Infant Mortality Rate/Low Birth Weight
  • Dental Health
    • Water Fluoridation
  • Mental Health
    • Elderly RatioYouth RatioAlcohol Abuse PrevalenceSubstance Abuse Prevalence

All existing auto-HPSA scores will be updated                   

  • The national update of auto-HPSAs is tentatively planned for April 2019.
  • A series of update previews have been provided in advance of the update for informational and planning purposes.
  • The current process to request a score or rescore remains in place.

When will the updated scores be used by the NHSC?

The updated scores will be used for the 2020 NHSC application cycles.

How does the SDMP affect National Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps?

Changes in HPSA scores may impact a facility’s competitive status for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and NURSE Corps programs. The National Shortage Designation Update will not affect CMS HPSA Bonus Payments or rural health clinics’ enrollment/certification.

Current participants may complete their service obligation without contract changes. Following their commitment, NHSC and NURSE Corps participants may apply for a continuation award if they remain in a HPSA. The change in score will only impact them should they wish to transfer sites.

For more information, please visit: National Shortage Designation Modernization Project: Auto-HPSAs 

Medically Underserved Areas/Populations

Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P) are service areas or population groups who face economic, cultural or linguistic barriers to health care.

Fact Sheets:


Workforce Development Coordinator  

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