Evaluation of Washington State Shortage Designations

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Project completed:
March 2003
Concerns have been raised about how well shortage area designations differentiate areas or entities with sufficient provider supply from those that are underserved. Eligibility for federal health personnel programs is triggered by designation of an area as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). However, these designations often do not overlap and may fail to accurately identify the most underserved areas. This study examines how well HPSAs and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) compare with results of the newly-developed Washington State generalist supply model that is based on small units called Generalist Health Service Areas and examines what factors account for any differences obtained when applying these designation models. The study also evaluates the newest federal designation criteria.

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