Integrating the Huff model and floating catchment area methods to analyze spatial access to healthcare services


Analysis of spatial access to healthcare services is critical for effective health resource planning. Gravity-based spatial access models have been widely used to estimate spatial access to healthcare services. Among them, the floating catchment area (FCA) methods have been proved to be informative and helpful to the designation of Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). This article integrates the Huff Model with the FCA method to articulate population selection on services. Through the proposed approach, population demand on healthcare services is adjusted by a Huff Model-based selection probability that reflects the impacts of both distance impedance and service site capacity. The new approach moderates the over- or under-estimating of population demand that occurred with previous methods. Furthermore, the method uses a continuous distance impedance weight function instead of the arbitrarily defined subzones of previous studies. A case study of spatial access to primary care in Springfield, MO, showed that the proposed method can effectively moderate the population demand on service sites and therefore can generate more reliable spatial access measures.


Geography, Geology, and Planning

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Transactions in GIS