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Decision-Related Research on the Organization of Service Delivery Systems in Metropolitan Areas: Public Health (ICPSR 7374)

Principal Investigator(s): O'Donoghue, Patrick, Spectrum Research, Inc.


This study represents one of four research projects on service delivery systems in metropolitan areas, covering fire protection (DECISION-RELATED RESEARCH ON THE ORGANIZATION OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS: FIRE PROTECTION [ICPSR 7409]), police protection (DECISION-RELATED RESEARCH ON THE ORGANIZATION OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS: POLICE PROTECTION [ICPSR 7427]), solid waste management (DECISION-RELATED RESEARCH ON THE ORGANIZATION OF SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS IN METROPOLITAN AREAS: SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT [ICPSR 7487]), and public health (the present study). All four projects used a common unit of analysis, namely all 200 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) that, according to the 1970 Census, had a population of less than 1,500,000 and were entirely located within a single state. In each project, a limited amount of information was collected for all 200 SMSAs. More extensive data were gathered within independently drawn samples of these SMSAs, for all local geographical units and each administrative jurisdiction or agency in the service delivery areas. Two standardized systems of geocoding -- the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) codes and the Office of Revenue Sharing (ORS) codes -- were used, so that data from various sources could be combined. The use of these two coding schemes also allows users to combine data from two or more of the research projects conducted in conjunction with the present one, or to add data from a wide variety of public data files. The delivery of public health services was investigated in 200 SMSAs plus Minneapolis and St. Paul. The basic data collection effort involved the use of public data sources as well as proprietary data from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities (CPHA). Because of the proprietary nature of some of the data and for the preservation of confidentiality, all analyses were performed at the SMSA level. Unlike the other three related research projects, the present study does not provide disaggregated units of analysis such as the administrative jurisdiction, the individual hospital, or other facilities. Variables describe the characteristics of available professionals and facilities, regulatory factors reflecting the impact of federal and state programs available in the area, and financing factors, including the coverage of state Medicaid programs, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Medicare programs. Information is also provided regarding the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the population served in each SMSA.

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Study Description


O'Donoghue, Patrick. Decision-Related Research on the Organization of Service Delivery Systems in Metropolitan Areas: Public Health. ICPSR07374-v1. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1978. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07374.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07374.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF-C-899)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    cities, government programs, health care facilities, health care services, health insurance, hospitals, municipal expenditures, municipal services, municipalities, public health, regulatory processes, Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas, state government, urban planning

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1970--1975

Date of Collection:   

  • 1974--1975

Universe:    Public health facilities and services in SMSAs with populations less than 1,500,000 and located entirely within one state, plus Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data, and administrative records data


Data Source:

statistical publications, regulations handbooks, official lists, yearbooks, and directories, etc. A complete list of the sources is included in the Appendix to the codebook.

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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-03


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