Health and Medical Care Archive

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National Survey of Small and Medium-Sized Physician Practices (NSSMPP), 2007-2009 (ICPSR 36113)

Principal Investigator(s): Casalino, Lawrence, Cornell University. Weill Cornell Medical College


Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Study of Small and Medium-sized Physician Practices (NSSMPP) was designed to provide information about physician practices with 1-19 physicians. The survey focused on the use of information technology and care management processes for four major chronic illnesses: asthma, congestive heart failure, depression, and diabetes. Other topics covered by the survey include practice type, size, ownership and the breakdown of patients by race and Hispanic origin; clinical preventative services and health promotion; health insurance plan activities in preventative care and care for patients with chronic illness; performance reporting and incentives; revenue sources and compensation methods; and organizational culture.

NSSMPP was also designed to assist the RWJF-funded Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) project by providing baseline data about small and medium sized practices in the AF4Q sites. AF4Q was a national program that aimed to lift the quality of health care in 16 targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities in those communities and provide models for national reform.

NSSMPP built on two previous studies -- the National Study of Physician Organizations and the Management of Chronic Illness (NSPO), 2000-2001 (ICPSR 4455) and the National Study of Physician Organizations and the Management of Chronic Illness II (NSPO2), 2006-2007 (ICPSR 29801) -- which collected information about medical groups and independent practice associations (IPAs) with 20 or more physicians.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    As explained in the ICPSR Processing Notes in the codebook, ICPSR restricted some variables from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining the restricted data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to the restricted data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


Casalino, Lawrence. National Survey of Small and Medium-Sized Physician Practices (NSSMPP), 2007-2009. ICPSR36113-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-06-30.

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This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (35305)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    asthma, chronic illnesses, congestive heart failure, depression (psychology), diabetes, health care services, information technology, physician practice

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2007--2009

Date of Collection:   

  • 2007--2009

Universe:    Small and medium-sized physician practices (1-19 physicians) in primary care, single specialty cardiology, endocrinology or pulmonology, or multispecialty practices with significant numbers of physicians in these specialties.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Additional information about Aligning Forces for Quality is available on the AF4Q Web site.

Additional information about NSSMPP is available on the website of the National Study of Physician Organizations.


Sample:    NSSMPP used a proprietary database of physician practices provided by IMS Health (IMS Health Incorporated, Healthcare Organizational Services), with assistance from a team at Dartmouth College, to select practices in 14 of the 16 AF4Q sites and the rest of the United States. Practices were selected using a with-replacement stratified sampling design based on AF4Q site, specialty-type, and practice size. Given the four major chronic diseases on which the survey focused, practices were selected only if they were primary care, single specialty cardiology, endocrinology or pulmonology, or multispecialty practices with significant numbers of physicians in these specialties. NSSMPP oversampled the AF4Q sites and, insofar as possible, tried to sample reasonable numbers of practices of each of the above specialty types, as well as practices in four size categories: 1-2, 3-8, 9-12, and 13-19 physicians. The goal was to obtain completed interviews from 120 practices in each of the AF4Q sites and at least 500 practices in the national stratum. Altogether, 1,201 practices in the AF4Q sites and 544 practices from the rest of the United States responded to the survey.

Weight:    The weights range from 1 to 116.53, with a mean of 14.27. Because practices in the national site were under-sampled, they have much higher weights than average, consisting 31 percent of the unweighted sample but 91 percent of the total weight.

Mode of Data Collection:    telephone interview

Response Rates:    63.2

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2016-06-30

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