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Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)


The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Workforce designates an area, population, or facility experiencing a shortage of health care services, as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). There are different types of designations which are renewed annually through an online application process called the Shortage Designation Management System.

In Delaware, the State of Delaware, Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health coordinates the annual application process for in-state HPSA designations. HRSA reviews each application with a keen focus on an extensive host of data points, such as; provider practice location, population served, clinical hours dedicated to patient population, environment mapping data, demographic data, health-related data, and Uniform Data System measures.

A HPSA classification and score are generated after the assessment. HPSA classifications can be Behavioral/Mental Health, Dental, or Primary Care. HPSA scores can range from zero (0) to twenty-six (26) depending on population to provider ratio, the Federal Poverty Level, and commute to the nearest healthcare provider.

Provider offices interested in applying for federal Health Professional Shortage Area designation must contact the Office of Primary Care and Rural Health for further details:

Nichole Moxley, Director
Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Public Health, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health
417 Federal Street, Jesse Cooper Building, Dover, Delaware 19901
(302) 744 - 4555 |Nichole.Moxley@Delaware.Gov


Modernizing Health Professional Shortage Areas

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) started a multi-phased project in 2013 to modernize the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation process, in efforts to provide transparency, accountability, and consistency. Efforts are still ongoing, and the project is in its fourth phase. Click here for additional HRSA updates.




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