NAMCS Estimation Procedures
Statistics were derived by a multistage estimation procedure. The procedure produces essentially unbiased national estimates and has basically four components: 1) inflation by reciprocals of the probabilities of selection, 2) adjustment for nonresponse, 3) a ratio adjustment to fixed totals, and 4) weight smoothing. Each of these components is described briefly below.
1. Inflation of
Reciprocals by Sampling Probabilities
The last probability was defined to be the exact number of office visits during the physician's specified reporting week divided by the number of Patient Record forms completed. All weekly estimates were inflated by a factor of 52 to derive annual estimates.
2. Adjustment for nonresponse
Beginning with 2004 data, changes were made to the nonresponse adjustment factor to account for the seasonality of the reporting period. Extra weights for nonresponding physicians were shifted to responding physicians in reporting periods within the same quarter of the year. The shift in nonresponse adjustment did not significantly affect any of the overall annual estimates.
Beginning with 2003 data, the adjustment for non-PRF physicians differs from the adjustment used in prior years. Previously the adjustment accounted for non-response by physician specialty, geographic region, and metropolitan statistical area status. The revised non-response adjustment also accounts for non-response from physicians by practice size, as measured by number of weekly visits, and for variability in number of weeks that participating physicians saw patients during the year.
Previously, these characteristics were assumed to be the same for physicians providing patient encounter information and those not providing such information. However, research done for the first time with 2003 data showed that these two assumptions are not always true. In general, the weekly visit volume for non-PRF physicians was larger than for PRF physicians. Also, physicians who saw no patients during their sample week tended to see patients fewer weeks annually than did physicians who saw patients during their week. To minimize understatement (and in some cases, overstatement) of visits, the non-response adjustment factor was revised to include information on the number of weeks physicians actually practiced during a typical year and the number of visits physicians reported during a week. Both data items were collected for responding and nonresponding physicians during the induction interview starting with the 2001 survey.
The 2003 weight with the revised non-response adjustment increased the overall visit estimate by 12 percent over the same estimate obtained using the original weight. For this reason, 2003 (and 2004) visit estimates are not comparable to visit estimates computed using the previous weighting strategy.
3. Ratio Adjustment
4. Weight Smoothing
Excessively large visit weights were truncated, and a ratio adjustment was performed. The ratio adjustment is a multiplication factor that uses as its numerator the total visit count in each physician specialty group before the largest weights are truncated, and, as its denominator, the total visit count in the same specialty group after the largest weights are truncated. The ratio adjustment was made within each of the 15 physician specialty groups and yields the same estimated total visit count as the unsmoothed weights.
This page last reviewed
January 11, 2007