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Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)

Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas

Primary Care Providers

primary care

Primary Care HPSA designations refer to a shortage of non-federal doctors of allopathic or osteopathic medicine providing direct care in the fields of:

  • Family Practice
  • General Practice
  • Pediatrics
  • Internal Medicine (outpatient based)
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology

General Criteria

  1. For primary medical care HPSAs the population to primary care physician ratio must be at least:
    • 3,500:1 for a geographic designation,
    • 3,000:1 for a geographic designation with unusually high needs (i.e. poverty rate of 20% or greater), or
    • 3,000:1 for a population group designation
  2. The area designated must be a rational area for the delivery of primary medical care services. Arizona uses a rational service area (RSA) plan for primary care and dental HPSAs, which has been preapproved by HRSA.
  3. Primary medical care professionals in contiguous areas are over-utilized, excessively distant, or inaccessible to the population of the area under consideration.

Geographic vs. Population HPSAs

Geographic HPSAs look at all of the primary care physicians and the entire population to calculate the ratio. For population HPSAs, only a subset of the population (i.e. low income 200% FPL or less) and the portion of primary care physician's time devoted to that population (i.e. amount of care provided to patients on Medicaid or using a sliding-fee-schedule) are considered.

Primary Care HPSA designations are valid for three (3) years. See the Designation Process page for more information on renewing or applying for a primary care HPSA designation.

Additional information on the designation criteria for primary care HPSAs is available on HRSA's Shortage Designation Branch website.

Primary Care HPSAs in Arizona