THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

COMMITTEE:

Higher Education and Professional Practice

TITLE OF ITEM:

Designation of Regents Physician Shortage Areas (RPSAs)

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

July 30, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Approval (Consent Agenda)

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

Chapter 576 of the Laws of 1975 and Section 605 of the Education Law

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goal 3

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

In 1987, the Board of Regents approved a system for identifying and designating areas of physician shortage.  In September 1995, they made a decision to update the shortage area list once a year.  In addition, at their September 1997 meeting, the Board of Regents modified the system by adding a category of Mental Health Professions Shortage Areas, along with the following categories of shortage areas:

 

       Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSA)

 

Federal Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSAs) are used by the Federal government to identify areas of primary care physician shortages.  The Federal government requires that all HPSA designations be updated every three years using the HPSA criteria.  The basic eligibility criterion is the physician-to-population ratio; in addition, infant mortality, physician availability in contiguous areas, and other factors are also considered.  The NYS Department of Health reviews and comments on all requests for Federal HPSA designation.

 

       County Non-Primary Care Specialty Shortage Areas

 

Counties where less than one-third of the recommended number of specialists in the 15 most common specialties are available.


       Hospital Non-Primary Care Specialty Shortage Areas

 

Hospitals designated as RPSAs for non-primary care specialties as approved by the Board of Regents in 1987.  In order to receive credit toward fulfillment of a service obligation, non-primary care specialists are required to devote at least 50 percent of their practice to Medicaid recipients and/or the uninsured.  The most recent data available (now 1993) on percentages of Medicaid and self-pay days are used to identify hospitals where service-obligated specialists may fulfill this obligation.

 

       State Facility Physician Shortage Areas

 

Facilities operated by the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Mental Health, and the Department of Correctional Services.

 

       Facilities Providing Services to Special Populations Shortage Areas

 

Facilities designated as serving special populations identified by the Regents as experiencing special barriers to health care.

 

       Mental Health Professions Shortage Areas

 

Mental Health Professions Shortage Areas are counties identified as having less than one-third of the recommended number of mental health professionals and specific areas and facilities designated by the federal government.

 

The Department of Health is now recommending updates to the list of Regents physician shortage areas approved in October 2002.  These updates include modifications to the following: Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSAs)-primary care shortage areas, Facility Physician Shortage Areas, State Facility Shortage Areas, and Mental Health Professions Shortage Areas.  Attachment I consists of recommended amendments to the various categories of shortage areas.

 

      I recommend that the Board of Regents approve the changes in the lists of designated physician shortage areas described in Attachment I.

 

VOTED:  That the lists of designated physician shortage areas, as amended by Attachment I to this memorandum, be approved, effective January 1, 2005.