Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Natl Health Stat Report. 2008 Aug 6;(3):1-39.

National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2006 summary.

Author information

  • 1Division of Health Care Statistics, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.



This report describes ambulatory care visits made to physician offices in the United States. Statistics are presented on selected characteristics of the physician's practice, the patient, and the visit.


The data presented in this report were collected in the 2006 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), a national probability sample survey of visits to nonfederal office-based physicians in the United States. Sample data are weighted to produce annual national estimates of physician visits.


During 2006, an estimated 902 million visits were made to physician offices in the United States, an overall rate of 306.6 visits per 100 persons. In over one-quarter of office visits, electronic medical records were utilized by physicians, while at 85.5 percent of visits, claims were submitted electronically. Since 1996, the percentage of visits by adults 18 years and over with chronic diabetes increased 40%, and during the same time period, visits increased for chronic hypertension (28%), and depression (27%). Among visits by females, a Pap test was ordered or provided more frequently than a human papilloma virus DNA test (5.6 versus 0.6 percent). Private insurance visits were more likely to include liquid-based Pap tests (6.3 percent) compared with visits using conventional or unspecified tests (3.7 percent), whereas visits utilizing Medicaid and other sources of payment were equally likely to provide conventional or unspecified, and liquid-based Pap tests. Medication therapy was reported at 636.7 million office visits, accounting for 70.6 percent of all office visits. In 2006, there were about 1.9 billion drugs mentioned, resulting in an overall 210.3 drug mentions per 100 visits. Visits to primary care physicians at community health centers were more likely to document health education compared with office-based practices, whereas diagnostic or screening services, drug mentions, and any nonmedication treatment occurred at approximately the same proportion of visits for primary care providers in both type of settings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for National Center for Health Statistics
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk