Primary Care and Behavioral Health Provider Maps

This map series presents data focused on the ratio of population to Primary Care Providers (PCPs) and Behavioral Health Providers (BHPs) at the state and county level. The provider data were gathered from the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES). These data were most recently updated as of February, 2016. This system includes primary taxonomy codes indicating the provider’s main type of practice delivery (e.g., Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychologist, Social Worker) and their practice address, which was used to Geolocate providers within state and county boundaries using. These data were then matched with population data from the Census Bureau to calculate a ratio between the total population and number of PCPs or BHPs within the NPPES.

Population to PCP Ratio State Level Sample Map

Click any state to see the Population to PCP ratio


The NPPES is often used as a workforce dataset as a National Provider Identifier (NPI) is required to bill Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurers. This dataset does have inherent disadvantages when being used as a workforce dataset. (1) There is no indication if the provider is currently delivering direct patient services or if they have moved to an administrative function, retired, or are no longer practicing. (2) Full Time Equivalent (FTE) percentages are not included in the data. (3) Unlike licensure data there is little need to update deactivation of a NPI on a regular basis. (4) Data (including practice addresses) are reported by the provider or an authorized party which may not accurately reflect a provider’s actual practice location. These limitations highlight the overrepresentation of available providers when using NPPES as a workforce dataset. Some of these limitations may be resolved by linking NPPES to other data sources such as the AMA Masterfile which includes licensure, membership and certification data creating a more accurate picture of practicing PCPs. However, an analogous linkage for BHPs is virtually non-existent (Holzier, Goldsmith & Ciarlo, 2000).