Health Professional Shortage and Medically Underserved Areas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The KDPH Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Designation program assesses and submits data based on federal criteria on shortages of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers. Shortages are assessed and reported for urban and rural areas, among population groups and with respect to medical or other public facilities. More than 36 federal programs depend on the shortage designation to determine eligibility or as a funding preference, including scholarship/loan repayment programs and Medicaid incentive funding programs.

Current HPSA/MUA federal law requires designation reviews every three years. Any organization may make a special request to review an area for a HPSA/MUA designation.

Does My County Have A Designation?

To review if your county has a federal HPSA/MUA designation, you may use the following search resources:

What Does a Designation Do For Me?     

For professionals in medical, dental and mental health fields practicing in a HPSA/MUA, the individual benefit is typically the availability for student loan repayment assistance or forgiveness through the National Health Service Corp or other federal student loan forgiveness programs.

Designations can make providers eligible to qualify as rural health clinics or federally-qualified health centers or for CMS Medicare incentive payments and J-1 visa waiver physicicans.