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The Area Health Resource File (AHRF) is a national county-level health resources information darabase


Data Categories

The Area Health Resources Files (AHRF) contain information on health facilities, health care professions, measures of resource scarcity, health status, economic activity, health training programs, and socioeconomic and environmental characteristics. In addition, the basic county file contains geographic codes and descriptors which enable it to be linked to many other files and to aggregate counties into various geographic groupings. Users can also search the AHRF to determine the data variables available in the current file.

 Health Care Professions

Health Care Professions - Included are extensive data for the most current year of physicians by detailed specialty and major professional activity, age, gender, and graduation location; and the most current data available for other major health professions. Aggregate physician data are available from 1970 to the present, with more detailed specialty data available for some five year intervals. Also included are data for dentists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, chiropractors, optometrists, and podiatrists, among others. Additionally, AHRF contains information regarding Health Professions Shortage Areas (in Codes and Classifications).

With the release of the first state and national Area Health Resources Files in fall 2013, detailed demographic and employment statistics for over 50 health care professions are now available. These include sex, race and ethnicity and also health workforce setting and median wages.

Health Professions Training - Data are provided on the number of schools, enrollments, and graduates for major health professions, including MD Schools, DO Schools, Dental Schools, Dental Auxiliary Schools, Veterinarian Schools, Pharmacy Schools, Optometry Schools, and Podiatry Schools.

With the release of the first state and national Area Health Resources Files in fall 2013 training data are detailed for 20 health care professions, including the number of degrees awarded by sex, race and ethnicity.

 Hospitals and Health Care Facilities

Health Facilities - Included are current and historic information on the characteristics of and services offered by hospitals. Statistics include number of admissions, inpatient days, outpatient visits, beds by type, number of personnel by category, etc. Data are provided on nursing homes, home health agencies, hospices, ambulatory surgery centers, CHC's, National Health Service Corps Sites and more.

Hospital Utilization - Included are hospital utilization rates, admissions, inpatient days, outpatient visits, and emergency department visits.

Hospital Expenditures - Included are hospital expenditure data and Medicare reimbursement data.

 Census, Population Data and Environment

Population Characteristics and Economic Data - Included are age, race, and sex for the census year populations as well as total population for intervening years. Also included are data on mortality, infant mortality, birth statistics, education, Medicaid eligibles and Medicare enrollees including those in Medicare Advantage, in Fee for Service, and in the Prescription Drug Program. Economic data include: civilian employment and unemployment; total, per capita, and median income; poverty; housing statistics; and distribution of families and individuals by income groups. Health insurance statistics and SNAP recipients are also included. Beginning with the 2013-2014 release of the AHRF, statistics regarding disabled and veteran population are also included.

Environment - Included are population and housing density, land area, and air quality and ground contamination data.

Codes and Classifications - Included are geographic descriptors such as Core Based Statistical Areas; Rural/Urban Continuum Codes, Urban Influence codes, county typology codes, Federal region codes, Census county group codes, Census contiguous county codes, Health Professions Shortage Areas among others. Beginning with the 2013-2014 release of the AHRF, Indicators of Persistent and Deep Poverty are also included.