Author(s): Meenan RT, Goodman MJ, Fishman PA, Hornbrook MC, OKeeffeRosetti MC,
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Abstract Managed care, in particular the health maintenance organization (HMO), now dominates US healthcare delivery, and economic evaluation is receiving increasing attention as a management tool that can be tailored to its perceived business needs. This encourages use of HMO administrative data as an efficient source of resource utilization and cost measures. Use of administrative data coincides with growing research interest in multisite analyses that increase external validity. The best alternative to a nationally representative data set is to pool administrative data from multiple sites within one database. However, pooling administrative data is problematic because HMO data sources reflect differences in systems of care, costing, and coding. This paper describes issues inherent in the pooling of HMO administrative cost data for use in multisite economic evaluations. We describe the attributes of administrative data that are relevant to costing and discuss their implications for multisite economic evaluations. We then briefly describe our experience with pooling multisite cost data, discuss lessons learned, and offer suggestions for researchers working with such data, followed by concluding comments. Multisite administrative data provide unique opportunities to conduct population-based clinical and economic research.
This article was published in Am J Manag Care
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research