Granted to Hawaii County
Hilo Medical Center Foundation worked diligently with the State Primary Care Office on Oahu to compile data and apply for the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for the County of Hawaii; which was initially granted in October 2017. The HPSA is a federal designation for geographic areas, populations and facilities with too few primary care, dental and mental health providers and services.
The designation allows our community to recruit and retain providers using financial incentives including access to scholarships and loan repayment programs, and bonus payments for providers through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Another benefit of the HPSA is the ability for certification of certain clinics in rural areas to be designated as Rural Health Clinics (RHCs); which provides for enhanced reimbursement rates. These enhanced payments help to make RHCs economically sustainable and increase access to health care in our communities.