2-D Bar Graph of the Medical Data

In this activity, you will generate a two-dimensional bar graph using medical data.  A two-dimensional bar graph consists of two variables, an independent variable plotted on the x axis and a dependent variable plotted on the y axis. There are also 3-D bar graphs comparing three variables, which you can learn about in the 3-D Medical Activity.

The data for this activity was taken from 1996 patient records which were compiled by the HealthCare Financing Association (HCFA) and provided by HealthCare Consulting, Inc (HCI). HCI, a medical management corporation, receives the statistics from the Part B Medicare Extract and Summary System (BESS). The data deals with Medicare patients, a vast majority of which are over the age of 65. It consists of three different types of medical practices, or specialties, and the number of patients who had an encounter with a doctor nationwide in 1996 (allowed services). The data doesn't represent the total number of patient encounters in 1996, only the encounters where a Medicare patient is seeing a new doctor. The three general specialty headings used for this activity are; Internal Medicine, Family Practice, and General Surgery. Internists and family practitioners are primary care doctors. These doctors develop a treatment plan and monitor their patients. General Surgeons are specialists. These doctors typically operate on their patients. Usually, a patient will be referred to a general surgeon for surgery by a family practitioner or internist. When the operation is complete, the patient returns to the care of the internist or practitioner.

Using Excel, you will generate a two-dimensional bar graph. The data exists in two files; one is in Excel Data format, one is in Text format.

Which specialty had the greatest number of allowed services? Which specialty had the least? What is the independent variable in this activity? the dependent? What can you conclude about this data?

Original work on this document was done by Central Virginia Governor's School students Michael Helferstay and Danny Yu (Class of '99).

Copyright © 1998 Central Virginia Governor's School for Science and Technology Lynchburg, VA