Using Healthcare Claims Data for Outcomes Research and Pharmacoeconomic Analyses
Howard G. Birnbaum
Pierre Y. Cremieux
Paul E. Greenberg
Healthcare claims data are a practical complement to data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for evaluating health outcomes in non-experimental settings and for generalising results to a broader population. Claims data are a relatively inexpensive way to obtain useful information about patient demographics, as well as healthcare resources used for specific medical conditions and procedures from large numbers of patients over extended periods of time. With claims data, it is possible to identify patients who meet specific medical or sociodemographic criteria, estimate their costs, define episodes of medical care, and measure outcomes more globally than is possible with RCT data. Statistical methods exist to address some of the inherent issues with claims data due to their limited clinical detail. We also identify extensions of claims data to productivity issues, the use of centralised claims data such as in Canada, and the application of new statistical methods to outcomes research literature such as sample selection correction methods.
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