The federal Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation identifies an area or population as having a shortage of dental, mental, and primary health care providers. HPSA designation are used to qualify for state and federal programs aimed at increasing primary care services to underserved areas and populations.
A HPSA designation is based on three criteria, established by federal regulation:
Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) have shortages of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers and may be geographic (a county or service area), demographic (low income population) or institutional (comprehensive health center, federally qualified health center or other public facility). To find information on Health Professional Shortage Areas in Virginia, please visit the following website: http://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/GeoAdvisor/ShortageDesignationAdvisor.aspx. Enter the street address, city, state and zip code you wish to inquire about and click submit. Please be sure to use the "Find Shortage Area" button on the left hand side only. Federally Designated Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) or Populations (MUPs) and shortage areas designated by the State DO NOT qualify.
Medically Underserved Areas and Medically Underserved Populations have shortages of primary medical care providers and may be geographic (a county or service area) or demographic (low income, Medicaid-eligible populations, cultural and/or linguistic access barriers to primary medical care services)
They are each assigned an Index of Medical Underservice (IMU) score, which is used to determine the eligibility of an area or population for MUA/MUP status.
To find HPSAs in Virginia, click on the link below, select “Virginia” as the State and then follow the instructions found on the web page. HRSA HPSA by State & County
Virginia Medically Underserved Areas (VMUA)
Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (MHPSA)
Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)
Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHPSA)
For more information about Virginia designations, contact Rexford Anson-Dwamena, GIS/Designations Specialist, Rexford Anson-Dwamena.