Q: How often is the physician data updated?
A: The physician data is updated at least quarterly, with segments updated more frequently when community need inventories are updated.

Q: How often is population data updated?
A: Population is updated annually or when new, significant information becomes available.

Q: How are multiple addresses inside and outside of a service area handled with respect to physician FTE estimates?
A: Physician FTEs are split equally between practice locations unless edits are made based on updated information. Only addresses and FTE allocations within the facility's service area are included in the community need analysis for a specific hospital.

Q: Why doesn’t the physician FTE get reduced to zero in the current year when a physician is aged 65 or older?
A: Physician age does not impact the current year FTE count if a physician has an active license and a practice address in the service area.  If there is adequate documentation that a physician is not in clinical practice or does not practice full time (for example, if you document that you have called the practice and noted the number of days in clinical practice at that location), the FTE field should be edited for the current year FTE. If a physician turns 65+ within the window of the forecast year, the toolkit automatically registers a zero FTE for that physician in the forecast year but not for the current year. These assumptions are incorporated into the physician inventory used for the determination of community need.  Please do not change the current year FTE to zero unless you also include documentation in the notes that the physician is no longer in practice in your service area.

Q: How is physician age being handled when no birth date is available?
A: When no birth data are available, physician age is estimated using the reported date of graduation from medical school and the average age of physicians at graduation (28). If no graduation date is available, the date of first licensure is used, again assuming age 28.

Q: What does a facility do if we think there is a need for a physician recruitment but, after scrubbing the physician list there is, there is not a calculated community need.
A: A special needs study would need to be requested if you wish Cattaneo & Stroud, Inc. to assist with a specialized need assessment. This process requires approval from the hospital community need assessment advisor at the requesting facility and there is an additional cost incurred by that facility. Factors that may be considered in a special assessment of community need include wait time surveys, unique areas of physician expertise with documented gaps in the service area, insurance acceptance, etc.

Q: Why are the population numbers different in the Payer Profile and Population by Payer tables than the Population by Age tables?
A: Estimated payer detail is based on reported, retrospective state and health plan data, hence estimated payer population is generally the most recent past full year whereas community need is based on current and forecast year population. The year of the data is displayed at the top of the table.