How is shortage designated? - Minnesota Dept. of Health

How is shortage designated?

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

ORHPC works with the Shortage Designation Branch (SDB) of the federal Bureau of Health Professions to establish HPSA designations.

In addition, ORHPC works with the SDB to establish the MUA/P 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/P designation involves the calculation of an Index of Medical Underservice (IMU) based on four variables:

  • Ratio of primary medical care physicians per 1,000 population,
  • Infant mortality rate,
  • % of the population with incomes below the poverty level, and
  • % 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.

The federal Bureau of Health Professions has more information about HPSA and MUA/P criteria as well as a searchable database of federally designated HPSA and MUA/P.


For more information:
Carol Gronfor
Phone: 651–201–3842


Updated Friday, 08-Jan-2021 10:06:33 CST