FAIR Health Collaborates with West Health and Johns Hopkins University to Study COVID-19 Patient Characteristics

FAIR Health has partnered with West Health to leverage its data resources to examine COVID-19 patient comorbidities, risk factors and outcomes. Undertaken with Dr. Marty Makary—a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health—the project is expected to result in a set of actionable findings for vulnerable populations, particularly older adults, prior to the fall/winter 2020-21 season, when a greater surge of infections is expected. West Health comprises three nonprofit organizations, the Gary and Mary West Foundation, the Gary and Mary West Health Institute, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center, all dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place.

As parts of the United States reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, attention is turning to the projected second wave in the fall/winter of 2020-21 that, based on historical precedent, could likely affect more individuals. However, the criteria used to describe vulnerable individuals for COVID-19 severity and mortality have been loosely defined and characteristics once deemed to be protective against COVID-19 severity (e.g., young age, no underlying diagnoses) are being called into question.

FAIR Health, West Health and Dr. Makary will collaborate on the rigorous data analysis during the study period. Using the FAIR Health National Private Insurance Claims (FH NPIC®) database—which contains more than 31 billion claim records for medical and dental services from 2002 to the present—the analysis will identify risk factors, comorbidities and associated outcomes of those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with an emphasis on older adult populations. Dr. Makary will oversee a parallel analysis of Medicare data, to study medications hypothesized to be therapeutic agents for COVID-19.

The study, which will yield actionable results in a short time frame, can help inform clinical and policy solutions regarding older adults, especially those at risk for severe morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19, thereby informing prevention, treatment and possible protocols for distributing vaccines, once developed.

Robin Gelburd, FAIR Health President, stated: “We are honored by the generous support of West Health. By leveraging FAIR Health’s robust data resources, and working with Dr. Makary, we will garner essential insights relevant to those most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 outcomes and mortality at this critical juncture in the course of the pandemic.”