Online Program

Modeling Physician Distribution Uncertainty in Three Common Health Workforce Data

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Imam M. Xierali, PhD, Diversity Policy and Programs, AAMC, Washington, DC
Marc Nivet, EdD; MBA, AAMC, Washington, DC
Context: There is widespread concern about the adequacy and distribution of our nation’s health workforce. For planners and policymakers, the correct identification of physicians’ practice locations is critical, yet tremendous uncertainty endures in their use of existing national workforce datasets.

Purpose: To explore spatial uncertainty in commonly used physician workforce data and understand the probable patterns of physician distribution.

Design: We triangulated three physician workforce data, 2014 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile (AMA), 2014 National Provider Identifier (NPI) Database, and 2014 Georgia State Physician Licensure (LIC) data in two counties in Atlanta metro areas. These data are also linked to land use classification with parcel data.

Population Studied: Patient care physicians

Principal Findings: More than 25% Georgia licensed physicians listed addresses outside the state. 92% of LIC data are matched to AMA data, 89% of AMA data are matched to NPI data, and 90% of LIC data are matched to both AMA and NPI data. 13.3% of NPI physician addresses, 15% of AMA masterfile physician addresses, and 24.9% of state licensure physician addresses are found in residential neighborhood.

Conclusions:  There are significant practice location uncertainty in physician workforce data. NPI data appears to have the best practice location and state licensure data has the worst practice location information. This study calls for a unified national data system for physician practice locations which is needed for better health workforce planning and deployment that is critical for ensuring public health. More research are needed to improve practice location accuracy.

Learning Areas:

Basic medical science applied in public health
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe three location uncertainty in commonly used health workforce data and discuss probable solutions.

Keyword(s): Accessibility, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a health geographer and health services researcher. My research interests are in spatial disparities in health and health care, geospatial technologies for health applications, statistical modeling and spatial statistics. I am particularly interested in the relationship between health workforce distribution and health outcomes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.