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Health Indicator Report of Health Care Access - Primary Care Physicians Compared to Population Size

The number in the population for every primary care provider represents the number of persons a single primary care provider is required to serve. Lower numbers represent better access to primary care. The federal government uses this metric as one of the considerations for a county to be designated a "health professional shortage area," or HPSA. The threshold for the population to provider ratio is 3,500 to 1 (3,000 to 1 if there are unusually high needs in the community). In other words, it is desirable for a county to maintain a ratio under 3,500.

Population per Primary Care Physician, by County, New Mexico, 2015


The numerator in this ratio is the number of persons in the county population. The denominator is the number of primary care physicians. The ratio represents the number of persons each primary care physician would need to serve.
The numerator in this ratio is the number of persons in the county population. The denominator is the number of primary care physicians. The ratio represents the number of persons each primary care physician would need to serve.

Notes

The number of primary care physicians in New Mexico's counties is annually reported in the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center's "New Mexico Health Care Workforce Committee Report." Population estimates are from UNM, GPS (see below).

Data Sources

  • University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
  • Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program, http://gps.unm.edu/.

Data Interpretation Issues

Primary care physicians include MD's and DO's who are specialists in family practice, family medicine, general practice, general pediatrics or general internal medicine. The numbers and specialties of New Mexico's physicians are collected through various licensure boards. The reported number of providers is known to include only a subset of federal physicians active in the state, such as those working for the Veteran's Administration or the Indian Health Service, because those providers are not required to be licensed specifically in New Mexico (see New Mexico Health Care Workforce Committee Report, 2015:4). An individual's county of residence is not necessarily where they will seek health care. For instance, most of Torrance County's population lives near Bernalillo County, and will be likely to seek health care and other services in the Albuquerque area.

Definition

The number of persons in the population for each primary care physician.

Numerator

Number of persons in the population

Denominator

Number of primary care physicians

Healthy People Objective: AHS-4, (Developmental) Increase the number of practicing primary care providers

U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Other Objectives

New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)
Page Content Updated On 09/22/2017, Published on 09/22/2017
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site (http://ibis.health.state.nm.us). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Wed, 17 October 2018 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.health.state.nm.us".

Content updated: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:22:44 MDT