Shortage / Underserved Areas Designations


KDHE's Office of Primary Care and Rural Health is responsible for the evaluation and submissions of health professional shortage areas and medically underserved areas/population designations.

State and federal agencies use these designations to prioritize and direct limited resources to areas with unmet health care needs, including programs for:

  • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waivers
  • Financial Assistance for Health Professionals
  • Medicare Designations for Rural Health Clinics and Community Hospitals
  • Medicare Reimbursement for Rural Providers and Telehealth Services

2020 Health Professional Underserved Areas Report

View the 2020 Health Professional Underserved Areas Report (PDF).

Federal Designated Health Professional Shortage Areas

The Public Health Service Act, as amended, instructs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to use data from national, state, and local sources and regulations based upon established criteria, to annually prepare listings of currently designated Health Professional(s) Shortage Areas (HPSA).

The DHHS may designate a HPSA for an urban or rural area that is a:

  • Rational service area (i.e., geographic area)
  • Population group
  • Public or nonprofit private medical facility

To search detail HPSA information in your community, go to the HPSA Find webpage.

Federal Designated Medically Underserved Areas & Populations

Medically Underserved Areas and Populations identify geographic areas and populations with a lack of access to primary care services. Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) have a shortage of primary care health services for residents within a geographic area. Medically Underserved Populations (MUPs) are specific sub-groups of people living in a defined geographic area with a shortage of primary care health services. These groups may face economic, cultural, or linguistic barriers to health care.

To search for detailed MUA/P information in your community, go to the MUA Find webpage.

Governor-Designated Medically Underserved Areas

Governors may designate areas of their state as shortage areas specifically for the purpose of Rural Health Clinic (RHC) certification. Kansas has consistently utilized the methodology adopted by the University of Kansas School of Medicine's Office of Faculty Affairs and Institutional Research and accepted by the Office of Shortage Designation since May of 1990.

View a List of Governor-Designated Medically Underserved Areas (PDF)


Contact Us

For more information email Ashley Wallace.