Making the Designation Process Efficient and Seamless


HPSA Designations

A Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation is a cornerstone to securing primary care physicians for your medical service area. This government-established program boosts your underserved area with monetary stimulus to retain and attract new physicians, supporting your medical personnel and programs.

HPSA Acumen makes the designation process efficient and seamless for our clients. During a 60-day period, we can create a true picture of your medical service area, quantify the dynamics, and prove to the state and federal governments your degree of shortage, if one exists.

HPSA Categories

Health professional shortages can exist in all three of these categories:

Primary Health Care

Acknowledges the physician shortage in a service area. The physician shortage is calculated from pediatrics, OB/GYN, general internal medicine, and family practice physicians only.

Dental Health Care

Acknowledges the shortage of dentists in a service area. The dental shortage is calculated from general dentists only; however, age and auxiliary assistance are also factors.

Mental Health Care

Acknowledges the shortage of psychiatrists and core mental health professionals in a service area. The psychiatric shortage is calculated from ratios of the population to mental health providers.

HPSA Types

Each HPSA category has four types:


A Geographic HPSA is for a region that is determined to be a sound Rational Service Area (RSA). It can be a portion of a city or a county, or it can be an entire county. It is based on primary care hours for the general population.

Low-Income Population

A Low-Income Population HPSA is for a region that is determined to be a sound Rational Service Area focusing on only that population living below the 200% Federal Poverty Level.

The shortage of primary care physicians is based on the time spent serving this population.

Specialty Population

A Specialty Population HPSA is for a region that is determined to be a sound Rational Service Area focusing on only that population that may fall into one of the following populations: Medicaid populations below the 100% Federal Poverty Level; ethnicity; homeless; migrant farm workers.


A Facility HPSA is for any of the following facilities: State and Federal Prisons, correctional facilities, community health centers, rural health clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

HPSA Benefits

Medicare Bonus

When an area is designated as a Geographic HPSA all physicians working in the HPSA are eligible for the additional 10% Medicare payment.

From primary care physicians and specialists to optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, and even medical teleconsultants, they are all eligible for the incentive payment for practicing in the Geographic HPSA.

Although the HPSA project is based on the study of Primary Care, all disciplines benefit.


Loan Forgiveness

The goal of the National Health Services Corps (NHSC) is to expand access to healthcare services and improve the overall health of individuals living in medically underserved areas across the U.S.

Through the active recruitment of primary care, dental, and mental health providers, the NHSC is able to place these physicians within the service areas with the highest needs. In exchange for two years of service in a site approved by the NHSC, education loan relief is made available for medical service providers.

These placements are based on Health Professional Shortage Area designations.

Visa Waiver

A J-1 visa, also called an "exchange visitor visa," is a visa used by foreign nationals who come to the US for the purpose of teaching, training, studying, researching, and so on.

Foreign nationals are required to physically return to their home country or the country of last residence for at least two years before they are eligible to apply for any other non-immigrant visa or Lawful Permanent Residence.

In exchange for working in an underserved area, a visa waiver will remove the requirement for the foreign physician to return home for two years.

The H-1B petition allows an employer to temporarily employ a foreigner in the U.S. on a non-immigrant basis in various specialty occupations. The H-1B petition authorizes the employee to work for a limited period of time for the specific employer in the specific position outlined in the petition.

More information may be found on the United States Department of Labor website.

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