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HPSA Designations
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Primary Medical Care HPSA Designation Overview

There are three different types of HPSA designations, each with its own designation requirements:

  • Geographic Area
  • Population Groups
  • Facilities

Geographic Areas must:

  • Be a rational area for the delivery of primary medical care services
  • Meet one of the following conditions:
    • Have a population to full-time-equivalent primary care physician ratio of at least 3,500:1
    • Have a population to full-time equivalent primary care physician ratio of less than 3,500:1 but greater than 3,000:1 and have unusually high needs for primary care services or insufficient capacity of existing primary care providers
  • Demonstrate that primary medical professionals in contiguous areas are overutilized, excessively distant, or inaccessible to the population under consideration.

Population Groups must:

  • Reside in an area in that is rational for the delivery of primary medical care services as defined in the Federal code of regulations.
  • Have access barriers that prevent the population group from use of the area's primary medical care providers.
  • Have a ratio of persons in the population group to number of primary care physicians practicing in the area and serving the population group ratio of at least 3,000:1
  • Members of Federally recognized Native American tribes are automatically designated. Other groups may be designated if the meet the basic criteria described above.

Facilities must:

  • Be either Federal and/or State correctional institutions or public and/or non-profit medical facilities
  • Be maximum or medium security facilities
  • Federal/State Correctional Institutions must have at least 250 inmates and the ratio of the number of internees/year to the number of FTE primary care physicians serving the institution must be at least 1,000:1
  • Public and/or non-profit medical Facilities must demonstrate that they provide primary medical care services to an area or population group designated as a primary care HPSA and must have an insufficient capacity to meet the primary care needs of that area or population group.