Medically Underserved Populations

What is a medically underserved population?

A medically underserved population is a population of individuals within a geographic area that, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has either a: 

  • Large elderly population 
  • High infant mortality rate 
  • High level of poverty 
  • Lack of primary care providers 

Many medically underserved populations face cultural, language or economic barriers to healthcare.  

Why is determining medically underserved populations important to healthcare?

Determining medically underserved populations is important to healthcare because it identifies which populations may have trouble accessing primary care services. It can also indicate barriers to healthcare affecting access, letting federal programs allocate necessary resources.