Designated Shortage & Medically Underserved Areas

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 the 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 an HPSA or MUA is required for CMS Rural Health Clinic certification and for the J-1 Visa Waiver Program.

Maps of SD Health Professional Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Areas


Primary Care, Dental Care, and Mental Health Care Surveys

The South Dakota Office of Rural Health Primary Care Coordinator periodically sends surveys to providers and facilities to collect provider information for calculating health professional shortage area (HPSA) and medically underserved area/population (MUA/MUP) designations. This information is needed from each relevant healthcare provider practicing in the State.

  • Primary Care Survey: completed by MD/DO providers specializing in family medicine/general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, and certified nurse midwife
  • Dental Care Survey: completed by general dentist and pediatric dentist
  • Mental Health Survey: 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.

If you have a change in staffing and would like to immediately report the change, please contact