Data Methods and Comments

Data Methods. HPRC obtains licensing databases for health professionals from the licensing boards. The databases are reviewed to determine the quality of the data. HPRC uses information related to license status and practice (or primary work) address (or mailing address when practice address not available) to identify the number of providers working in the state. 

County Field.  When possible HPRC uses data from practice addresses to identify the "County of Practice" where professionals are providing services. However, some databases may only report mailing addresses. In those cases, the "County of Practice" will correspond to the mailing address county. Data users should keep in mind that professionals may practice in more than one county but only report their primary practice location to the licensing board. 

Physician Data. The data on physicians in all tables excludes those physicians classified as federal (Military, Veterans Administration, Public Health Service), and residents and fellows. These exclusions generally comprise about 9% to 10% of the direct patient care physician workforce. Thus, the physician supply totals may differ slightly from the supply totals reported by the Texas Medical Board (TMB) or other reporting agencies using TMB license databases. Additionally, only physicians with a Texas practice address (or Texas mailing address if the practice address is not available) are included in the HPRC supply tables.

Dentist Data. The supply numbers reported in HPRC supply tables exclude federal, military and dental resident records. The General Dentists supply tables include only "primary care dentists" practice types: general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and dental public health. It excludes specialized practice types such as: endodontics, oral/maxi. surgery, oral pathology, orthodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics. The All Dentists supply tables include all dentistry specialties. 

Other Comments.

Trends Analysis. Data collection and processing methods often change over time. Various Activity Status codes are added or removed by the licensing boards, and, at times a determination may be made to count (or exclude) licensees with a particular License or Employment Status code. HPRC works closely with the licensing boards and other health professional associations to determine if these changes are needed. Although these changes result in more accurate data for that point in time, they also affect the analysis and interpretation of supply trends over time. HPRC endeavors to footnote any changes or discrepancies in data analysis.

Population Data. HPRC uses Texas population projections data, from the Texas Demographic Center, to calculate supply ratios. Population projections are frequently updated; therefore, population numbers used for a particular year (for example data for year 2014 from the 2014 projections) may not match future population projections for that same year (for example data for year 2014 from the 2018 projections). This in turn will affect analysis and interpretation of supply ratios trends over time.