Shortage Designation Modernization Project (SDMP)

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) initiated the Shortage Designation Modernization Project (SDMP) to streamline the shortage designation process based on the principles of transparency, accountability, and parity.


Phase I - 2013

Development and implementation release of the Shortage Designation Management System (SDMS).

Phase II - 2017

National Shortage Designation Update of Geographic, Population, and Other Facility HPSA designations.

Phase III – 2019

National Shortage Designation Update of Automatically-Designated HPSAs.

Phase IV – In Progress

Health Professional Shortage Area Scoring Criteria Request for Information (RFI)

We asked for public input on HPSA scoring criteria. This feedback will inform policy.

We accepted comments through September 18, 2020. After reviewing the comments, we may contact some respondents.

Learn more about Shortage Designation and Shortage Designation Scoring Criteria.

What are National Shortage Designation Updates?

National Shortage Designation Updates, update existing designated HPSA designations at a single point in time.

The National Shortage Designation Update of automatically designated HPSAs (Auto-HPSAs) occurred on October 30, 2019.

Engaging with Stakeholders

HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care and Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, the Indian Health Service, and other stakeholders identified data sources to use for the planned update.

Engaging Partners

HRSA has engaged partners through working groups, conferences, individual discussions, and regular communications to provide input into key project decisions. Some of these include:

  • Timelines for National Updates;
  • Viable data sources; and
  • Communication messages and materials.

Update Preview Reports

Leading up to the national update of Auto-HPSAs, between November 2018 and August 2019, HRSA provided PCOs, State Primary Care Associations, and Auto-HPSA organizations with a series of nine update preview reports.

Individualized Reports

In addition to national and state-specific reports, HRSA provided organizations with individualized reports. These included their current scores, projected updated scores, and the actual data we use for each scoring criterion.

We included an Excel file with each report. It listed every provider we counted toward the organizations’ population to provider ratios.

The update previews provided organizations the opportunity to examine the data, work with the PCOs to make revisions, if necessary, and begin collecting supplemental data in advance. HRSA also had the opportunity to provide individual technical assistance.

View national results on

How does the national update of HPSAs affect NHSC and Nurse Corps?

Changes in HPSA scores may impact a facility’s competitive status for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs. The National Shortage Designation Update do not affect CMS HPSA Bonus Payments or rural health clinics’ enrollment/certification.

Current NHSC and Nurse Corps participants

  • will not be affected by a facility HPSA score change due to a national update.
  • can fulfill the service commitment of their current contracts.
  • may apply for a continuation award and may continue to serve at any eligible site with a HPSA.
  • wishing to transfer to another approved site must identify a site in the same HPSA tier.

Technical Assistance

How do I access the Auto-HPSA Portal

Where can I learn more about the portal?

Additional Resources



Rural Health Clinics


Date Last Reviewed:  May 2020

Contact Us

Email us about shortage designation

Email us about the shortage designation modernization project

Questions about providers in your Auto-HPSA update preview?
Contact your State PCO

NHSC or Nurse Corps questions?
Email us or call 1-800-221-9393

CMS Bonus Payment questions?
Contact your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC)

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