A shortage designation identifies an area, population, or facility experiencing a shortage of health care services.

The Public Health Service Act provides that the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall designate health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs), based on criteria established by regulation. 

The authority for designation of HPSAs is delegated to the Bureau of Primary Health Care’s Division of Shortage Designation. Designation as a HPSA is a prerequisite to application for National Health Service Corps (NHSC) recruitment assistance (loan repayment and scholarship programs), and CMS Medicare Incentive Payments.

Designation as an MUA is a prerequisite for Community Health Centers (CHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Designation as a HPSA or MUA is required for CMS Rural Health Clinic certification and for the J-1 Visa Waiver Program.

View Designated Shortage & Medically Underserved Areas

Primary Care, Dental Care, and Mental Health Care Survey

The South Dakota Office of Rural Health collects provider information for calculating health professional shortage area (HPSA) and medically underserved area/population (MUA/MUP) designations. This information is needed from each relevant health care provider practicing in the State.

The South Dakota Primary Care Coordinator periodically sends surveys to providers and facilities to collect this data. If you have a change in staffing and would like to immediately report the change you can contact emily.paulsen@state.sd.us.

  • Primary Care survey is to be completed by MD/DO providers in the following specialties: Family Medicine/General Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN and Certified Nurse Midwife.

  • Dental Care survey is to be completed by General Dentist and Pediatric Dentist.

  • Mental Health survey is to be completed by Psychiatrists.

When completing the survey, please keep in mind this survey is for direct patient care hours including Clinic and in-hospital care activities such as rounds, etc. but EXCLUDING Surgery, Emergency Room, Nursing Home activities and administrative duties.