Health Profession Shortage Areas

"The reality is that some places will be losing (shortage) designations, some will be gaining." said Edward Salsberg, HRSA, in the opening comments to the negotiated rule making committee today. The Health Resources Services Administration Negotiated Rulemaking Committee began meeting again this week in Washington DC. The Committee’s purpose is to reconsider how Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and Medically Underserved Areas (MUA) are designated for the purposes of Federal programs. Today's work will focus on reviewing models for geographic HPSAs, six potential new models in total.   First and foremost, the committee focused on the growing complexity of this task, and the ability for the public to actually understand the model selected, and apply it to their community.  The consequences to existing safety-net providers is front and center in our discussions.  The plan for the committee today is to select the best model, and then to proceed with adjustments within that model over the next two months to develop a final new HPSA methodology.  However, selecting the "best model" is proving most difficult for the committee today.