Historically, health care analysts and other interested parties who wanted to assess service territories for health care providers had to rely on their own instincts or ask the provider how they defined their coverage territory. The federal government has made that task much easier by making an analytical package available online.

The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, provides a variety of healthcare data on its web site.

Its Geospatial Data Warehouse Tool is an interactive search vehicle through which users can get a geographic and data analysis of a hospital or clinic market service area – information that could be particularly helpful to hospital bond analysts. Users have the ability to input different primary and secondary market radius areas to compare results.

The tool is easy to use, and has powerful search capabilities. First, select a geographic area -whether a state, county, city, or metropolitan statistical area. Then, click on a tab to call up healthcare systems, area demographics, HRSA programs, and infrastructure.