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Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) Designation Program

The Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Designation program of the Health Care Access Branch within the Department for Public Health is the program designated by the federal Health Resources and Service Administration to assess and submit shortage designation data based on required federal criteria. HPSAs may have shortages of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers and may be urban or rural areas, population groups or 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 designations are reviewed every three years, as required by federal law. 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 engines:

Health Professional Shortage Areas

Medically Underserved Populations

What Does Getting 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 National Health Service Corp or other federal student loan forgiveness programs.

For providers, designations can qualify you to become a rural health clinic, a federally-qualified health center or obtain CMS Medicare incentive payments and J-1 visa waiver physicians.

Federal Matrix of Designation Requirements for Selected Federal Programs 


Contact Information

Lynn Ann Bishop,
HPSA Program
275 E. Main St., HS2W-B
Frankfort, KY 40621

Phone: 502-564-8966 x 4011


Last Updated 12/1/2017