Project Overview


To make the Area Health Resource Files more accessible and applicable to a wide range of users by improving existing files and documentation and providing support to end users.

Project Motivation

The Health Resources and Services Administration seeks to modernize the Area Health Resource Files to meet the needs of the research communities that rely on these data, expanding the use and accessibility of health care workforce data.

Partners in Progress

Quality Resource Systems, Inc.

Prepared For

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

Health workforce researchers and policymakers rely on the Area Health Resource Files (AHRF) to understand the extent to which the nation’s health care infrastructure is prepared to meet the country’s changing health care needs.

The AHRF contains information on health facilities, health professions, health status, health training programs, geographic measures, economic indicators, and socioeconomic and environmental attributes. The data are constructed from more than 50 sources, such as the American Medical Association, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Together with a convenient data dictionary, the AHRF enables health researchers, academic health centers, public health professionals, and others to easily access county-level statistics on health workforce professionals, health services, health care utilization, and access to care.

Mathematica and its partner, Quality Resource Systems, are enhancing and modernizing the AHRF to meet the growing demand for comprehensive health data resources that are readily accessible to a wide range of users. The enhanced AHRF and its accompanying documentation will enable faster tracking of information for users, making it easier for them to find the information they need.

These enhancements include an implementation of a new variable-naming convention for thousands of variables; smaller and more manageable data files that are subset to categories of variables by content area (such as Health Facilities and Population Demographics); and an updated version of the AHRF documentation for the county and state data files, which includes improved file and variable metadata.

As part of this work, Mathematica also responds to end-user inquiries, addressing questions and providing technical assistance pertaining to the AHRF, enabling researchers to easily access and use AHRF data and tools.

Related Staff

Dae Hwang

Dae Hwang

Information Technology Portfolio Manager

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Sean Orzol

Sean Orzol

Director, Research

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