The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) June 30 issued a notice
on health professional shortage area (HPSA) designations, announcing that it will extend the transition period for jurisdictions and facilities to prepare for potential loss of designations. HRSA last year announced that all HPSAs designated as “proposed for withdrawal” at that time would retain their status until July 2023 as HRSA continued to evaluate designations. Now, those impacted by the change will remain in this status until the next HPSA notice is published on Jan. 2, 2024. HRSA said if these HPSAs do not meet the requirements for designation by the data pull scheduled for Nov. 15, 2023, they will be withdrawn in the January 2024 notice.
Section 332 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, 42 U.S.C. 254e, provides that the Secretary shall designate HPSAs based on criteria established by regulation. HPSAs are defined in section 332 to include (1) urban and rural geographic areas with shortages of health professionals, (2) population groups with such shortages, and (3) facilities with such shortages. Section 332 further requires that the Secretary annually publish lists of the designated geographic areas, population groups, and facilities. This notice meets that requirement. The lists of HPSAs are to be reviewed at least annually and revised as necessary.
Final regulations (42 CFR part 5) were published in 1980 that include the criteria for designating HPSAs. Criteria were defined for seven health professional types: primary medical care, dental, psychiatric, vision care, podiatric, pharmacy, and veterinary care. The criteria for correctional facility HPSAs were revised and published on March 2, 1989 (54 FR 8735). The criteria for psychiatric HPSAs were expanded to mental health HPSAs on January 22, 1992 (57 FR 2473). Currently funded PHS Act programs use only the primary medical care, mental health, or dental HPSA or relevant sub-score designations such as Maternity Care Target Areas.
HPSA designation offers access to potential Federal assistance. Public or private nonprofit entities are eligible to apply for assignment of National Health Service Corps personnel to provide primary medical care, mental health, or dental health services in or to these HPSAs. National Health Service Corps health professionals enter into service agreements to serve in federally designated HPSAs. Entities with clinical training sites located in HPSAs are eligible to receive priority for certain residency training program grants administered by HRSA’s BHW. Other Federal programs also utilize HPSA designations. For example, under authorities administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, certain qualified providers in geographic area HPSAs are eligible for increased levels of Medicare reimbursement.
Complete lists of HPSAs designated as of April 28, 2023, are available on the website here.
Frequently updated information on HPSAs is available at here.
Information on shortage designations is available at here.
To view South Dakota’s Shortage Areas, click here