Medically Underserved Area (MUA) and Medically Underserved Population (MUP) Designations

A Medically Underserved Area (MUA) and Medically Underserved Population (MUP) designation is REQUIRED for an FQHC.

Federal Programs Using MUA/MUP designations include recipients of Community Health Center (CHC) section 330 grant funds and are legislatively required to serve areas or populations designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as medically underserved.

Grants for the planning, development, or operation of community health centers under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act are available only to centers which serve designated MUAs or MUPs.

Systems of care which meet the definition of a community health center contained in section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, but are not funded under that section, and are serving a designated MUA or MUP, are eligible for certification as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and cost-based reimbursement of services to Medicaid patients.

Clinics serving rural areas designated as MUAs are eligible for certification as Rural Health Clinics by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the authority of the Rural Health Clinics Services Act (Public Law 95-210, as amended).

Individual state health departments make application to DHHS for these designations.

HPSA Designations

Regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services establish criteria and procedures for the designation of geographic areas, population groups, medical facilities, and other public facilities, in the States, as health professional(s) shortage areas (HPSAs).

 Using data available to the Department from national, State, and local sources and based upon certain criteria, the Department will annually prepare listings (by State and health service area) of currently designated HPSAs and areas that can potentially designated, together with appropriate related data available to the Department.  Criteria

In addition, any agency or individual may request the Secretary to designate (or withdraw the designation of) a particular geographic area, population group, or facility as a HPSA.

Every Federally Qualified Health Center has a HPSA site specific designation automatically.

Individual state health departments are tasked with assisting in making application request to DHHS for these designations and work with communities to accomplish this task.

If you want a HPSA or you’ve been told you have an unfavorable score, call us.

If you have been told you can’t get a HPSA for a project by your state office or the feds, and you still want to pursue this, call us.