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Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)

HPSA Designation Process

Provider Data Collection

HRSA requires specific data to be submitted in applications requesting designation of an area or population group. The required information consists largely of provider's names, specialties, office locations, hours per week in patient care activities, the providers acceptance of AHCCCS and use of a sliding fee schedule. The Shortage Designation Program collects this data through periodic phone surveys of provider offices.

Geographic and Population HPSAs

HPSA designations are valid for three (3) years. Each year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) prepares a listing of designated HPSAs that need to be updated that year to maintain their designation.

The listings are sent to each state Primary Care Office (PCO). The Bureau of Health Systems Development (HSD) is the Primary Care Office for the state of Arizona. The Shortage Designation Program (SDP) within the HSD, develops HPSA applications based upon current provider to population ratios, poverty levels, geographic, and other barriers to care in contiguous areas, and several health status measures. If the area still qualifies for HPSA designation, the SDP will submit an application to HRSA for redesignation or a request to withdraw the designation if the area no longer qualifies.

Once HRSA has received the application and reviews it for accuracy, they allow for a period of 30 days for public review and commentary. After that period, HRSA either designates the area or withdrawals the designation. The entire process can take up to six (6) months.

Facility HPSAs

All facility designations and score update requests for IHS facilities, FQHCs, FQHC-LALs, Rural Health Clinics, State Mental Hospitals, and federal correctional facilities are submitted directly to HRSAs Shortage Designation Branch. The SDP can provide technical assistance for their designation but does not submit applications for them. The most efficient way to request a facility designation or score update for these facilities is to email Norma Campbell at HRSA.

Applications for HPSA designation and score updates for state correctional facilities are processed through the ADHS Shortage Designation Program (SDP). To submit a request for designation or score revision of a state correctional facility, contact Tracy Lenartz.

Designation Requests

Please check the designation status of your area first at HRSA before requesting a review.

Geographic and Population HPSA designation requests should be made directly to the Shortage Designation Program. If you submit a geographic or population HPSA designation request directly to HRSA without collaborating with the PCO, HRSA will forward the request to the PCO for review and input, which will lengthen the application process.

If you are interested in having your area assessed for HPSA designation, please contact Tracy Lenartz. Again, please check the designation status of your area first at HRSA before requesting a review.