A Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) is a geographic area, population, or facility with a shortage of primary care, dental, or mental health providers and services. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and State Primary Care Offices (PCOs) work together using public, private, and state-provided data to determine when such a shortage qualifies for designation as an HPSA.
The scoring system factors calculate a score between 0-26 for Dental Health HPSAs. The following figure provides a broad overview of the four components used in Dental HPSA scoring:
But factoring the variables together can give a false perception of the individual variables of interest in the above equation.
The below map shows the HPSA in the US at the county level, with relatively better statistics in Texas.
But when we map them at zip code level, we end up finding that most rural parts of Texas have less than one dentist per 1000 population.
Further analysis also yields that 15% of Texas Population is rural but only 7% of dentists practice outside of the state’s urban centers.