health professional shortage area
(1) For purposes of this subpart the term “health professional shortage area” means (A) an area in an urban or rural area (which need not conform to the geographic boundaries of a political subdivision and which is a rational area for the delivery of health services) which the Secretary determines has a health manpower shortage and which is not reasonably accessible to an adequately served area, (B) a population group which the Secretary determines has such a shortage, or (C) a public or nonprofit private medical facility or other public facility which the Secretary determines has such a shortage. All Federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics, as defined in section 1861(aa) of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1395x(aa) ), that meet the requirements of section 254g of this title shall be automatically designated as having such a shortage. The Secretary shall not remove an area from the areas determined to be health professional shortage areas under subparagraph (A) of the preceding sentence until the Secretary has afforded interested persons and groups in such area an opportunity to provide data and information in support of the designation as a health professional shortage area or a population group described in subparagraph (B) of such sentence or a facility described in subparagraph (C) of such sentence, and has made a determination on the basis of the data and information submitted by such persons and groups and other data and information available to the Secretary.