Important Facts for Personal Doctor or Health Care Provider
DefinitionPercentage of adults who reported having one or more persons they think of as their personal doctor or health care provider.
NumeratorNumber of adults who reported having at least one person they think of as their personal doctor or health care provider.
DenominatorTotal number of adults interviewed during the same survey period.
Data Interpretation IssuesQuestion Text: "Do you have one person you think of as your personal doctor or health care provider?" Respondents can answer "Yes, only one", "Yes, more than one" or "No." For this indicator, the two "Yes" responses have been combined. Beginning in 2011, BRFSS data include both landline and cell phone respondent data along with a new weighting methodology called iterative proportional fitting, or raking. This methodology utilizes additional demographic information (such as education, race, and marital status) in the weighting procedure. Both of these methodology changes were implemented to account for an increased number of U.S. households without landline phones and an under-representation of certain demographic groups that were not well-represented in the sample. More details about these changes can be found at: [https://ibis.health.utah.gov/pdf/opha/resource/brfss/RakingImpact2011.pdf]. As with all surveys, some error results from nonresponse (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions) and measurement (e.g., social desirability or recall bias). Error was minimized by use of strict calling protocols (up to 15 calls were made to reach each household), good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision.
Why Is This Important?As each new health care need arises, an individual's first point of contact with the health care system is typically his or her personal doctor. In most cases a personal doctor can effectively and efficiently manage a patient's medical care because they understand that person's medical history and social background. Having a regular source of health care is also an indicator of overall access to care.
Healthy People Objective AHS-3:Increase the proportion of persons with a usual primary care provider
U.S. Target: 83.9 percent