Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 540. Rules and Regulations for the Identification of Medically Underserved Areas in Virginia
7/2/2020

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 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 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 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.

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.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-122.5 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-40-500 § 2.2, eff. July 3, 1991; amended, Volume 32, Issue 07, eff. December 30, 2015.

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