Analysis of Military Treatment Facility (MTF) Drive-Time Market AreasObjective: This study evaluates the potential for geospatial technology to create new drive-time related market areas for MTFs. This study researched methods to develop ZIP Code to drive-time market area maps as alternatives to distance-based catchment area directories for use in management reporting and operations in MHS data and information systems. As ZIP Codes do not neatly fit the complex boundaries of the new drive time market areas, rules must to developed to assign ZIP Codes to drive-time market areas. These rules, or algorithms will not provide a perfect solution; rather we are hopeful that they can achieve a plausible 90% solution that would be a ZIP Code to MTF drive-time market area map (or matrix). Such a map would be relatively straightforward to produce, maintain, and implement. As some ZIP Codes span the boundary of drive-time market areas, until further analysis is completed it is not clear how accurate such maps would be. For active duty and their family members, ZIP Code to drive-time market area maps would most likely be quite good as most service members and family reside near their base. Retirees and their family may present greater challenges as they are more dispersed.
Results: This preliminary application of geospatial techniques to create drive-time based market areas succeeded in creating 30-minute primary care and 60-minute referral care drive-time market areas at all U.S. MTFs identified as primary and referral facilities. his study applied geospatial technology to (1) identify MTF and other DMIS-ID geospatial locations using publicly available geo-locating software, (2) identified those MTFs with minimal routine primary medical and referral medical care (established as 1,000 visits per year), (3) used GIS-network analytic techniques to create 30 and 60-minute drive-time market areas around those MTS, (4) created an algorithm to assess the likely difference between enrollment potential given drive-time market areas and existing enrolled populations and (5) used geocoded TRICARE South MHS population to test the algorithm. This capability is now being assessed as a potential permanent tool in the MCFAS program.