42 CFR Appendix F to Part 5, Criteria for Designation of Areas Having Shortages of Pharmacy Professional(s)
A geographic area will be designated as having a shortage of pharmacy professional(s) if the following three criteria are met:
1. The area is a rational area for the delivery of pharmacy services.
2. The number of pharmacists serving the area is less than the estimated requirement for pharmacists in the area, and the computed pharmacist shortage is at least 0.5.
3. Pharmacists in contiguous areas are overutilized or excessively distant from the population of the area under consideration.
In determining whether an area meets the criteria established by paragraph A of this Part, the following methodology will be used:
1. Rational Areas for the Delivery of Pharmacy Services.
(a) The following areas will be considered rational areas for the delivery of pharmacy services:
(i) A county, or a group of contiguous counties whose population centers are within 30 minutes travel time of each other; and
(ii) A portion of a county, or an area made up of portions of more than one county, whose population, because of topography, market or transportation patterns or other factors, has limited access to contiguous area resources, as measured generally by a travel time of greater than 30 minutes to these resources.
(b) The following distances will be used as guidelines in determining distances corresponding to 30 minutes travel time:
(i) Under normal conditions with primary roads available: 20 miles.
(ii) In mountainous terrain or in areas with only secondary roads available: 15 miles.
(iii) In flat terrain or in areas connected by interstate highways: 25 miles.
Within inner portions of metropolitan areas, information on the public transportation system will be used to determine the area corresponding to 30 minutes travel time.
2. Counting of Pharmacists.
All active pharmacists within the area will be counted, except those engaged in teaching, administration, or pharmaceutical research.
3. Determination of Estimated Requirement for Pharmacists.
(a)Basic estimate. The basic estimated requirement for pharmacists will be calculated as follows:
(b)Adjusted estimate. For areas with less than 20,000 persons, the following adjustment is made to the basic estimate to compensate for the lower expected productivity of small practices.
4. Size of Shortage Computation.
The size of the shortage will be computed as follows:
5. Contiguous Area Considerations.
Pharmacists in areas contiguous to an area being considered for designation will be considered excessively distant or overutilized if either:
(a) Pharmacy professional(s) in contiguous areas are more than 30 minutes travel time from the center of the area under consideration, or
(b) The number of pharmacists in each contiguous area is less than or equal to the estimated requirement for pharmacists for that contiguous area (as computed above).
C. Determination of Degree-of-Shortage.
Designated areas will be assigned to degree-of-shortage groups, based on the proportion of the estimated requirement for pharmacists which is currently available in the area, as follows:
Group 1 - Areas with no pharmacists.
Group 2 - Areas where the ratio of available pharmacists to pharmacists required is less than 0.5.
Group 3 - Areas where the ratio of available pharmacists to pharmacists required is between 0.5 and 1.0.