Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

highlight

Action:
Update MUA determination process for timely accurate computations
Stage: Final
12VAC5-540-10

Part I
General Information

12VAC5-540-10. Authority.

In accordance with the provisions of ยง 32.1-122.5 of the Code of Virginia, the State Board of Health is required to establish criteria for determining medically underserved areas within the Commonwealth and include in these criteria the need for medical care services in the state facilities operated by the Departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The criteria are required to be quantifiable measures, sensitive to the unique characteristics of urban and rural jurisdictions.

12VAC5-540-20

12VAC5-540-20. Purpose.

The purpose of identifying medically underserved areas within the Commonwealth is to establish geographic areas in need of additional primary health care services. These areas may be selected by trained primary care physicians and other health professionals as practice sites in fulfillment of obligations that the physicians and other health professionals accepted in return for medical training and scholarship grant assistance. Each year of practice in a medically underserved area satisfies the repayment requirement of a year of scholarship support from the Virginia Medical Scholarship Program. Additionally, these medically underserved areas will be eligible locations for practicing primary care physicians and other health professionals participating in the state or federal physician loan repayment programs. Further, these medically underserved areas may become eligible for assistance, state or federal, to establish primary care medical centers.

12VAC5-540-30

Part II
Designating Medically Underserved Areas

12VAC5-540-30. Criteria for determining medically underserved areas.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The proposed amendments to this section were not adopted in the final regulations; therefore, no changes are made to this section.

The following [ five ] criteria, as available, and as indicated, shall be used to evaluate and identify medically underserved areas throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia [ and the criteria shall be applied at a minimum five-year interval using the most recent data available to update the designations ]:

1. Percentage of population with income at or below 100% of the federal poverty level. The source for these data shall be the most recent available publication of the Bureau of the Census of the U.S. Department of Commerce [ or appropriate intercensorial estimates of poverty accepted by the Health Resources and Services Administration Shortage Designation Branch for federal health professional shortage area and medically underserved area designations ].

2. Percentage of population that is 65 years of age or older. The source for these data shall be the [ Bureau of the Census of the U.S. Department of Commerce, or the latest estimates from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, or the ] Economic Services Division of the Virginia Employment Commission.

3. The primary care physician to population ratio. The source for these data shall be the [ Department of Family Practice of the Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University Virginia Department of Health Professions, or Board of Medicine physician profile database. Primary care physicians are defined as board certified or self-designated generalist practitioners who practice family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, or obstetrics/gynecology ].

4. The four-year aggregate infant mortality rate. The source for these data shall be the [ Center most recent four-year infant mortality data for each jurisdiction from the Division ] of Health Statistics of the Virginia Department of Health.

5. The most recent [ annual seasonally adjusted quarterly ] civilian unemployment rate [ for each jurisdiction ]. The source for these data shall be [ the ] Information Services Division of the Virginia Employment Commission.

6. Medical care services in state facilities operated by the Departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services shall be deemed Virginia medically underserved areas. ]

12VAC5-540-40

12VAC5-540-40. Application of the criteria.

A. Determining medically underserved cities and counties. The criteria enumerated in 12VAC5-540-30 shall be used to construct a numerical index by which the relative degree of medical underservice shall be calculated for each city and county within the Commonwealth. Observations for each of the five criteria will be listed for each Virginia city and county. An interval scale will be used to assign a particular value to each observation. This will be done for each of the five criteria. Each interval scale will consist of four ranges or outcomes of observations. The ranges will be numerically equal. The four ranges will be labeled as Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4. The numerical difference between the ranges will be established beginning with the Level 2 range.

The Level 2 range shall have the statewide average for each respective criterion, except the population to primary care physician ratio, as its upper limit. The Level 2 upper limit for the primary care physician to population ratio is established by dividing the difference between the Level 4 upper limit for this criterion and the Level 1 upper limit by two. Each observation which is equal to or less than the Level 2 upper limit, but greater than the Level 1 upper limit, will be assigned a numerical value of two.

The Level 1 range shall have an upper limit which is the quotient of the statewide average divided by two. For the ratio of population to primary care physician criterion, the upper limit of Level 1 shall be the ratio 2500:1 as recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Each observation that is equal to or less than the Level 1 upper limit will be assigned a numerical value of one.

The Level 3 range shall have an upper limit that is equal to the sum of the upper limit of the Level 1 range and the upper limit of the Level 2 range. For the ratio of population to primary care physician criterion, the upper limit of level 3 shall be established at 3500:1, the federal standard for designating health manpower shortage areas. Each observation that is equal to or less than the Level 3 upper limit will be assigned a numerical value of three.

The Level 4 range will include any observation greater than the upper limit of Level 3 range. Each observation in the Level 4 range will be assigned a numerical value of four.

The values for each of the ranges of the five criteria will be summed for each Virginia city and county. Each Virginia city and county will have an assigned value of five or greater, to a maximum of 20. A statewide average value will be determined by summing the total city and county values and dividing by the number of cities and counties. Any city or county assigned a value that is greater than the statewide average value shall be considered medically underserved. The application of criteria for determining medically underserved cities and counties shall be performed annually and published by the board.

B. Determining medically underserved areas within cities and counties. Geographic subsections of cities or counties may be designated as medically underserved areas when the entire city or county is not eligible if the subsection has: (i) a population to primary care physician ratio equal to or greater than 3500:1; and (ii) a population whose rate of poverty is greater than the statewide average poverty rate; and (iii) a minimum population of 3,500 persons residing in a contiguous, identifiable, geographic area. The board shall from time to time, on petition of any person, or as a result of its own decision, apply criteria for determining medically underserved subareas of cities and counties. Once determined to be medically underserved, any subarea of a city or county shall appear on the next list of medically underserved areas published by the board. Areas which qualify as medically underserved areas under 12VAC5-540-40 A and that are within Standard Metropolitan Areas as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, must also qualify under this section for purposes of placement of health professionals.

C. Medical care services in state facilities operated by the Departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services will be deemed Virginia medically underserved areas. ]