Due to the volume and complexity of the data requests it receives, the West Virginia Board of Medicine has given the job of handling requests for Physician Licensure data to the Office of Health Services Research since 1992.
OHSR has licensure files containing all active and inactive Medical Doctors, Doctors of Podiatric Medicine, and Physician Assistants who are licensed to practice in West Virginia. Requests for these data are received from credentialing services, hospitals, physicians, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private individuals. Because several steady clients (including the American Medical Association and several credentialing services) have requested it, OHSR has arranged to receive updated files from the Board of Medicine quarterly.
OHSR is able to provide electronic data files in various formats or printed mailing labels. Data requests may include any or all of 96 variables from the physician licensure file, including information as basic as primary and secondary specialties and county of practice, to the number of hours each week devoted to direct patient care, form and setting of practice, and Medical School attended. In addition, data can be limited to certain specialties, or to certain counties of practice.
During 2019 OHSR was remunerated for 41 requests for licensure data. Other requests were filled gratis for nonprofit organizations and individuals seeking specialists close to home.
Other Unfunded Data Services
Through a cooperative research agreement with the Health Statistics Center, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, OHSR also has access to confidential vital statistics files that include data on births, deaths, and infant deaths. Also available at OHSR are physician supply files. These databases, coupled with Census Bureau databases, are useful to OHSR in its own applied research as well as assisting the University community, the business community, planners and policy makers in their work.
In addition to the above funded projects OHSR makes considerable contributions to the University and the Health Sciences Center. OHSR also does consultations in the areas of: demographics, data management and analysis, study design, research methods, and survey design.