Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults and sample children who reported one or more usual places to go for care, or who answered "don't know" or "refused" in response to USUALPL, TYPPLSICK reports the type of place respondents usually go to when they are sick or need advice about their health. Please see the Universe tab for changes in the universe prior to 2019.
Beginning in 2019, if the sample adult or sample child had one or more usual place of care, did not know, or refused (USUALPL), interviewers asked, "What kind of place is it/do you go to most often-- a doctor's office or health center; an urgent care center, a clinic in a drug store or grocery store; a hospital emergency room; a VA Medical Center or VA outpatient clinic; or some other place?" Prior to 2019, if there was a "yes" response to the question about whether there is a place that the person usually goes when sick, interviewers asked, "What kind of place is it--a clinic, doctor's office, emergency room, or some other place?" If the response to the question was "there is more than one place," interviewers asked, "What kind of place do you go to most often--a clinic, doctor's office, emergency room, or some other place?"
The Field Representative's Manual for 1997-2000 states, "A place to USUALLY go when sick or in need of advice about one's health includes: Walk-in clinic, Doctor's office, Clinic, Health Center, Health Maintenance Organization, Hospital - Emergency room or outpatient clinic, Military or VA health care facility." The survey form recognized a smaller number of options: "Clinic or health center"; "Doctor's office or HMO"; "Hospital Emergency Room"; "Hospital outpatient department"; and "Some other place."
The Manual for 1995-2000 provided directions on distinguishing between a doctor's office and a clinic or health center. If the respondent used the term "clinic" or "health center," the interviewer was to record this. However, if the respondent was unable to classify the place as a doctor's office, clinic or health center, the interviewer was instructed to probe to determine how many doctors work out of the "place." A "place" with 3 or less doctors was to be considered a doctor's office.
Beginning in 2019, the Field Representative's Manual offers new definitions for interviewers inquiring about usual place of care. The Manual defines an urgent care center or clinic in a drug store or grocery store as "places where you do not need to make an appointment ahead of time, and do not usually see the same health care provider at each visit." The same document defines a doctor's office or health center as "a place where you see the same doctor or the same group of doctors every visit, where you usually need to make an appointment ahead of time, and where your medical records are on file."
In some years, interviewers also asked whether persons usually go to the same place identified in TYPPLSICK for their routine or preventive care (ROUTCARE) and, if not, the type of place where the person normally receives routine preventive care (PLACECAR). Other questions covered whether the person has changed the usual place of health care in the past twelve months, (if so) whether this change was for reason related to health insurance, and (in 1999) how long subject had been going to their usual source of health care and why some persons lacked a usual source of care.
This variable is not completely comparable over time. Changes to response categories affect the comparability of the variable and of the "other" response codes available. Users should thoroughly review the Codes and Survey Text tabs to understand changes to response category availability over time.
Beginning in 1999, an additional response of "Doesn't go to one place most often" (code 6) was included. This response might, for example, summarize the answers of someone who reported having more than one usual place of care when sick and who refused to identify a single "main" cause of care. It is not clear how responses coded as "6" (doesn't go to one place most often) in 1999 and beyond would have been coded in 1997 and 1998.
The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. Beginning in 2019, only sample adults can report a VA Medical Center of VA outpatient clinic as their usual place for medical care. Therefore, the meaning of "Other places" varies slightly between sample adults and sample children, as this category would exclude VA Medical Centers for sample adults, but may include VA Medical Centers for sample children. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.
Additionally, changes to the universe affect comparability over time.
- 1975: All persons who have a usual doctor or place of health care.
- 1985; 1990: Sample persons age 18+ who have a usual place they go to when sick.
- 1987: Sample persons age 18+ who have a usual source of care.
- 1988: Sample persons under age 18 who have a usual place for sick care.
- 1991: Sample persons age 18+ who have a usual place they go to when sick or whether they have a usual place was not ascertained.
- 1992: Half of sample persons age 18+ in quarters 1 and 2, and in 2 weeks of quarter 3 (excluded from CAEP supplement) who have a usual source for medical care or a place they go to most often.
- 1993: All persons in quarters 3 and 4 who have a usual person or place for medical care OR all persons with more than one usual person or place for medical care that go one place most often OR all persons who do not have a usual person or place for medical care and whose main reason for no usual medical care source is that there are two or more usual doctors/places but they go to one place most often.
- 1994-1996: All persons who have a usual person or place for medical care OR all persons with more than one usual person or place for medical care that go one place most often OR all persons who do not have a usual person or place for medical care and whose main reason for no usual medical care source is that there are two or more usual doctors/places but they go to one place most often.
- 1997-2018: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under age 18 who had a usual place or more than one usual place they go to when sick.
- 2019-2022: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children ages 0-17 with one or more usual places they go for care, or who responded "don't know" or "refused" to USUALPL.
- 1975, 1985, 1987-1988, 1990-2022