Medically Underserved Areas/Populations

Medically Underserved Area/Population (MUA/P) designation is a prerequisite to apply for grant awards to plan, develop and operate a health center under Section 330 of the U.S. Public Health Service Act. The designation attests that the health center will serve a medically underserved area or a medically underserved population. Designation is based on a scoring system of criteria related to health care underservice - Index of Medical Underservice (IMU) score.

MUA/P scoring is based on:

  • primary care providers per 1,000 population
  • % of population below poverty
  • infant mortality rate
  • % of population over 65

Values are weighted to create a final IMU score. A score of 62.0 or less out of 100 points qualifies for designation as an MUA/P. It is important to note that MUA/P designation does not qualify a site for National Health Service Corps placement nor ensure that the site receives federal funding.

Click here for detailed guidelines and criteria for requesting an MUA/P designation.

Click here to view a list of current MUA/P sites or call the League to find out if a certain area or population is currently designated.


The October 1, 2015 CHC funding cliff will trigger massive cuts in CHC federal funding if not fixed by Congress. To estimate the impact on your health center or for more information, click on the NACHC Calculator.