About Health Professional Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Areas

About Health Professional Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations

How are HPSA and MUAP Designated?

The Office of Rural Health & Primary Care identifies Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUAP) for Minnesota. Through these shortage area designations, high-need sites can meet eligibility criteria for a number of federal and state assistance programs.

The Office of Rural Health & Primary Care works with the Shortage Designation Branch (SDB) of the Bureau of Health Professions to establish HPSA designations.

In addition, the Office of Rural Health & Primary Care works with SDB to establish the MUAP designation, which is a prerequisite to requesting grant awards to plan, develop and operate a community health center under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act.

MUA designation involves the calculation of an index of medical under service (IMU) based on four variables:

  • Ratio of primary medical care physicians per 1,000 population
  • Infant mortality rate
  • Percentage of the population with incomes below the poverty level and
  • Percentage of the population age 65 or over.

The value of each of these variables for the service area is converted to a weighted value, according to established criteria. The four values are summed to obtain the area, IMU score.


Shortage Designations
Types and Benefits


National Health Service Corp (NHSC) Program Federally Qualified Health Center Program (FQHC) CMS Medicare 10% Incentive Payment CMS Rural Health Clinic Program J-1 Visa Physicians Waiver Program (Conrad 30)
Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)
Primary Care (PC)          


X   X X X

Low Income

X     X X
Dental Care (DC)          



Low Income

Mental Health (MH)          


X   X   X

Low Income

X       X


X       X
  (30+ other agencies and programs use HPSA designation as a criteria for benefits)
Medically Underserved Areas of Populations (MUA/P) Primary Care Only
MUA   X   X X
MUP   X     X
Governor's Exceptional MUP   X     X
Governor's Requested/Secretary Certified Designation for Rural Health Clinic
Primary Care       X  
          June 2014


The Bureau of Health Professions' Website has more information about HPSA and MUAP criteria as well as a searchable database of federally designated HPSA and MUAP.

For more information, please contact:
Keisha Shaw
Shortage Designation Coordinator & Grant Program Manager
Phone: 651-201-3860

Updated Tuesday, November 08, 2016 at 10:42AM