Objective: This study explores the impact of multiple-site practices on the distribution of physician services within a medical service region.
Data sources and study setting: A questionnaire was mailed to all urologists (100 percent response rate) practicing in north central Connecticut (the Hartford medical service area) and adjacent communities in September 1990. Data on community characteristics were obtained from the 1990 U.S. census and state government documents.
Study design: Descriptive statistics and maps were used to summarize the attributes of single- and multiple-site practices and the communities where they were located. Key practice and community variables were analyzed.
Data collection/extraction methods: The questionnaires were coded and entered into a digital database with the tabulated community data. Responses of individual physicians were grouped by practice.
Principal findings: Multiple-site practices were common. Second-order sites accounted for 23 percent of total appointment capacity and were located in communities with higher than average elderly populations and incomes and lower than average minority populations.
Conclusions: Analysis of multiple-site practices is important for the accurate assessment of medical service availability. Further research is needed to document the functioning of multiple-site practices across other specialties and geographic areas.