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Wisconsin Primary Care Programs: Shortage Designations

Three general categories of federal shortage designations:

  • Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)
  • Medically Underserved Area/Population (MUA/MUP)
  • Governor's Shortage Designation for Rural Health Clinics (RHC)

Federal shortage designations:

  • Document a significant shortage of primary care, dental, or mental health providers in a rural or urban service area.
  • Are specific to a service area that can be a county, group of towns, group of census tracts in a city, a state or federal correctional facility, a rural health clinic or a community health center; and
  • Are associated with difficulty or delays in getting basic health care (e.g., long travel distances to providers, long wait times for appointments, or no providers who can serve uninsured or underinsured patients).

The Wisconsin Primary Care Office (PCO) works in partnership with clinics to collect the detailed physician or psychiatrist data that are needed in order for the PCO to submit state HPSA applications to the federal Office of Shortage Designation.

The Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (WPHCA) is collecting data on behalf of the PCO.

When your clinic is contacted and asked to update its physician or psychiatrist data, the PCO needs a timely response. Annual HPSA reviews for which we get a poor response rate from clinics will be set aside. These HPSAs will be at-risk of losing HPSA designation and at-risk for losing HPSA-linked benefits.

Last revised April 19, 2023