FAIR Health Presents to Virtual NAHDO Conference

On August 17, FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd presented to the 35th Annual Conference of the National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO), the organization’s first-ever virtual conference. In her address, entitled “Using Claims Data to Address Public Health Issues,” Ms. Gelburd discussed how FAIR Health uses claims data to illuminate a variety of public health issues. These analyses use data from FAIR Health’s repository of billions of private healthcare claim records, the largest such repository in the nation. A sampling of the topics covered included:

Infectious Diseases
Claims data revealed the prevalence and spread of diseases such as Lyme disease and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Claims data analysis by FAIR Health showed that STDs are on the rise, Ms. Gelburd noted, with an increase as a percentage of all medical claim lines from 2007 to 2018 of 98 percent in rural areas and 77 percent in urban areas. In the same period of time, the top four increasing STDs were, in order from greatest to smallest increase, Mycoplasma genitalium, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Behavioral Disorders
FAIR Health analyses showed that, as a percentage of claim lines with mental health diagnoses, generalized anxiety disorder increased from 12.2 percent in 2007 to 22.2 percent in 2017, while major depressive disorder decreased from 28.4 percent to 25.7 percent. Claims data analysis can also yield insights into geographical variations. Ms. Gelburd showed that in Texas, for example, San Antonio accounted for 66.1 percent of claim lines with opioid-related diagnoses from 2007 to 2016 while representing less than 10 percent of that state’s population.

Dental Procedures
Trends in dentistry also can be usefully examined through the lens of claims data analysis. From April 2019 to April 2020, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, claim lines for dental diagnostic procedures markedly decreased 89.9 percent, while those for preventive procedures fell 93.7 percent.