Primary Health Professional Shortage Area

Terms:  primary health professional shortage area – phpsa

The federal HPSA designation (formerly Health Manpower Shortage Areas) identifies areas as having a shortage of health care providers on the basis of availability of primary care physicians. To qualify for designation as a HPSA, an area must be:


  1. A rational service area, [the Federal Shortage Designation Branch recognizes Medical Service Study Areas in California as rational service areas.
  2. Population to primary care physician ratio:
    1. 3,500:1 or
    2. 3,000:1 plus population features demonstrating "unusually high need".
  3. A lack of access to health care in surrounding areas because of excessive distance, over-utilization, or access barriers.

Source and for further information:  California Healthcare Workforce Catalog

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