To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of International Classification of Disease Ninth Revision Clinical Modification (ICD9-CM) hospital discharge codes to define degenerative cervical spine surgery in comparison to patient operative notes in the medical record.
Population-based studies of spine surgery have often relied on administrative databases as a primary information source, but little is known about the validity of using ICD9-CM codes to identify these operations.
We performed a retrospective study comparing ICD9-CM billing codes to patient operative notes, the gold standard, for patients undergoing spine surgery in 2006 at a single academic center.
We identified 1090 procedures of which 265 were categorized as cervical spine surgery for degenerative indications based on the operative notes. Compared to operative notes, our ICD9-CM algorithm had high sensitivity and specificity for selecting surgery at the cervical spine level and cervical spine surgery for degenerative indications. Categorization of cases by procedure had high sensitivity and specificity for fusion and surgical approach (>95%). Categorization of cases by primary diagnosis was generally less accurate. Cervical spondylosis with myelopathy was the most sensitive primary diagnosis. Categorization of cases by procedure had high sensitivity and specificity for fusion and surgical approach (≥96%). However, diagnoses such as herniated disc and procedures such as laminectomy had low sensitivity but high specificity.
The use of our ICD9-CM algorithm to define spine surgery at the cervical spine level, and degenerative cervical spine surgery is highly accurate. Although specific diagnoses codes are mostly insensitive, an ICD9-CM algorithm can be used to study these procedures with reasonable precision.
"For example, the use of both procedural (i.e., upper gastrointestinal endoscopy) and diagnostic (i.e., celiac disease) codes can improve the precision of case identification, as compared to the use of a diagnostic code alone
. Overall, procedural codes may have higher sensitivity and specificity compared with diagnosis codes
[16,17]. In our investigation, cases were 10 times more likely to be excluded for an inaccurate kidney stone code versus an inaccurate gastrostomy tube code, likely reflecting that fact that our G-tube definitions used a combination of diagnostic and procedural codes, while the kidney stone definition relied on diagnostic codes alone. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major aim of the i2b2 (informatics for integrating biology and the bedside) clinical data informatics framework aims to create an efficient structure within which patients can be identified for clinical and translational research projects.Our objective was to describe the respective roles of the i2b2 research query tool and the electronic medical record (EMR) in conducting a case-controlled clinical study at our institution.
We analyzed the process of using i2b2 and the EMR together to generate a complete research database for a case-control study that sought to examine risk factors for kidney stones among gastrostomy tube (G-tube) fed children.
Our final case cohort consisted of 41/177 (23%) of potential cases initially identified by i2b2, who were matched with 80/486 (17%) of potential controls. Cases were 10 times more likely to be excluded for inaccurate coding regarding stones vs. inaccurate coding regarding G-tubes. A majority (67%) of cases were excluded due to not meeting clinical inclusion criteria, whereas a majority of control exclusions (72%) occurred due to inadequate clinical data necessary for study completion. Full dataset assembly required complementary information from i2b2 and the EMR.
i2b2 was critical as a query analysis tool for patient identification in our case-control study. Patient identification via procedural coding appeared more accurate compared with diagnosis coding. Completion of our investigation required iterative interplay of i2b2 and the EMR to assemble the study cohort.
BMC Medical Research Methodology 01/2014; 14(1):16. DOI:10.1186/1471-2288-14-16 · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retrospective study.
To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a combined Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) algorithm in defining cervical spine surgery in comparison to patient operative reports in the medical record.
Epidemiological studies of spine surgery often use ICD-9-CM billing codes in administrative databases to study trends and outcome of surgery. However, ICD-9-CM codes do not clearly identify specific surgical factors that may be related to outcome, such as instrumentation or number of levels treated. Previous studies have not investigated the sensitivity and specificity of a combined CPT and ICD-9-CM code algorithm for defining cervical spine surgical procedures.
We performed a retrospective study comparing the sensitivity and specificity of a combined CPT and ICD-9-CM code algorithm to the operative note, the gold standard, in a single academic center. We also compared the accuracy of our combined algorithm with our published ICD-9-CM-only algorithm.
The combined algorithm has high sensitivity and specificity for defining cervical spine surgery, specific surgical procedures such as discectomy and fusion, and surgical approach. Compared to the ICD-9-CM-only algorithm, the combined algorithm significantly improves identification of discectomy, laminectomy, and fusion procedures and allows identification of specific procedures such as laminaplasty and instrumentation with high sensitivity and specificity. Identification of reoperations has low sensitivity and specificity, but identification of number of levels instrumented, fused, and decompressed has high specificity.
The use of our combined CPT and ICD-9-CM algorithm to identify cervical spine surgery was highly sensitive and specific. For categories such as surgical approach, accuracy of our combined algorithm was similar to that of our ICD-9-CM-only algorithm. However, the combined algorithm improves sensitivity, and allows identification of procedures not defined by ICD-9-CM procedure codes, and number of levels instrumented and decompressed. The combined algorithm better defines cervical spine surgery and specific factors that may impact outcome and cost.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We reviewed existing methods for identifying patients with neck and back pain in administrative data. We compared these methods using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
To answer the following questions: (1) what diagnosis codes should be used to identify patients with neck pain and back pain in administrative data; (2) because the majority of complaints are characterized as nonspecific or mechanical, what diagnosis codes should be used to identify patients with nonspecific or mechanical problems in administrative data; and (3) what procedure and surgical codes should be used to identify patients who have undergone a surgical procedure on the neck or back.
Musculoskeletal neck and back pain are pervasive problems, associated with chronic pain, disability, and high rates of health care utilization. Administrative data have been widely used in formative research, which has largely relied on the original work of Volinn, Cherkin, Deyo, and Einstadter and the Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team first published in 1992. Significant variation in reports of incidence, prevalence, and morbidity associated with these problems may be due to nonstandard or conflicting methods to define study cohorts.
A literature review produced 7 methods for identifying neck and back pain in administrative data. These code lists were used to search Veterans Health Administration data for patients with back and neck problems, and to further categorize each case by spinal segment involved, as nonspecific/mechanical and as surgical or not.
There is considerable overlap in most algorithms. However, gaps persist.
Gaps are evident in existing methods and a new framework to identify patients with neck pain and back pain in administrative data is proposed.
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