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Programs Using HPSA Designation

The designation as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) affects both the availability and cost of health care in those designated counties, populations and facilities. This is a partial list of programs that use HPSA and Medically Underserved Area or Population (MUA/MUP) designations. This information was accurate at the time of publication; however, it is recommended that potential users confirm the details with each agency.

 

1. Rural Health Clinic program: Provides special Medicare and Medicaid payment mechanisms for rural health clinics in geographic or population-based HPSAs, which serve as an incentive for becoming a rural health clinic. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.

2. Medicare Incentive Payments to Physicians: Provides 10% bonus payment on Medicare payments for physician services in geographic HPSAs. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.Doctor

3. Federally Qualified Health Center Grant Funding: A public and private non-profit health care organization that meets certain criteria under the Medicare and Medicaid Programs (respectively, Sections 1861(aa)(4) and 1905(l)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act.) A Health Center that meets these criteria is eligible to apply for Section 330 Health Center grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.

4. Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike Grant Funding: An organization that meets all of the eligibility requirements of an organization that receives a Public Health Service Section 330 grant, but does not receive grant funding. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.

5. Certification by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of rural health clinics as a HPSA: As of 2002, Federally Certified Rural Health Clinics are automatically eligible for HPSA designation. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.

6. Certification by CMS of Federally Qualified Health Centers and Look-Alikes: As of 2002, Federally Certified Rural Health Clinics are automatically eligible for HPSA designation. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.

7. National Health Service Corps placement: Awards scholarships to or provides money to repay educational loans of students and health professionals in exchange for at least 2 years of service in a HPSA, also supports commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service to serve for 3 years in the neediest HPSAs. This includes the Scholarship program, the federal Loan Repayment program, the State Loan Repayment program and Ready Responders. In a site with a HPSA score of 14 or above, students are eligible for up to $60,000 in loan repayment. In a site with a HPSA score of 13 or below, students are eligible for up to $40,000 in loan repayments. In a site with a HPSA score of 16 or above, scholarship programs are available.

8. Title VII Health Professions Education and Training Grant programs (16 programs in total): Provides grants for health professions education and training programs. Funding preference is given to applicants that (1) place a high or increasing number of graduates or program completers in settings having the principal focus of serving medically underserved communities or (2) have 25% or more of their graduates in full-time practice settings in medically underserved community and meet other statutory requirements. There are no scoring restrictions for this program. Refer to the following links for information about Title VII and Title VII Programs:

 

9. Title VIII Nursing Education programs (2 programs): Provides grants to institutions to provide financial support through traineeships for registered nurses enrolled in advanced education nursing programs or in a master’s degree nurse anesthesia program. In awarding grants, a funding preference is given to applicants whose projects will substantially benefit rural or underserved populations using sites identified under the definition of medically underserved community as proxies, and gives special consideration for applicants with students who have committed to practicing in HPSAs after graduation. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.

10. Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program: Awards grants to health professional schools to provide scholarships to full-time, financially needy students from disadvantages backgrounds enrolled in eligible health professions or nursing programs. Funding priority is given to schools applying for the funding based on the proportion of graduating students going into primary care, the proportion of underrepresented minority students, and the proportion of graduates working in medically underserved communities. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.

11. Placement of J-1 Visa Waiver who agree to serve in underserved communities: This program waives the requirement that foreign born physicians must return to their place of birth for 2 years after graduation, in exchange for at least 3 years of service in a HPSA. As of April 2006 the HPSA score was revised to 7 (from the previous 14).

12. Placement of Conrad 30 (J-1) physicians who agree to serve in underserved communities: This program also waives the requirement for foreign physicians to return to their home county. The difference from the J-1 Visa Waiver is that the sponsoring agency is the state health department. There are no scoring restrictions for this program.

13. National Interest Waivers for Immigrant Physicians: Waives the job offer requirement placed on certain immigrants, including physicians who agree to practice in a HPSA, MUA/MUP or at a Department of Veterans Affairs facility. There are no scoring restrictions for this program. For additional information on National Interest Waivers, consult the following links from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Dentist Tools

14. Mississippi Dentist Loan Repayment Program: (New as of May 2012) Recruit/retain dentists toprovide oral health care services in shortage areas. The program will pay up to $40,000 for an initial three-year clinical service obligation. Mississippi Qualified Health Center grantees have priority status for placement. Other sites may be considered based on the site is located in a dental HPSA, has at least 30% Medicaid and/or uninsured patient load, and has a dentist vacancy, or retention need. Contact the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association @ http://www.mphca.com/

This summary was originally derived from a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled: “Health Professional Shortage Areas: Problems Remain with Primary Care Shortage Area Designation System,” available at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d0784.pdf

Return to Introduction of Healthcare Infrastructure Shortage Areas

 

Last updated: 8/24/2015