According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, a medically underserved area (MUA) may be a whole county or a group of contiguous counties, a group of county or civil divisions or a group of urban census tracts that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has designated as having a shortage of health services for residents. Designations are based on the qualifications outlined in the Index of Medical Underservice (IMU), published in the Federal Register on October 15, 1976.
A medically underserved population (MUP) may include groups of persons who face economic, cultural or linguistic barriers to health care. Designations are also based on the qualifications outlined in the Index of Medical Underservice (IMU), and exceptional MUP designations are based on the provisions of Public Law 99-280, enacted in 1986.
A Governor designated MUA/P is an exceptional designation given by HRSA at the request of a state Governor or other chief executive officer and local health official. For more information, see https://bhw.hrsa.gov/shortage-designation/muap.