Authors: Howlader N, Ward KC, Warren JL, Campbell DS, Coyle L, Mariotto AB
Title: Assessment of Oncology Practice Billing Claims for Supplementing Chemotherapy: A Pilot Study in the Georgia SEER Cancer Registry.
Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2020(55):82-88
Date: 2020 May 01
PubMed ID: 32412070
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy information in the population-based cancer registries is underascertained and lacks detail. We conducted a pilot study in the Georgia SEER Cancer Registry (GCR) to investigate the feasibility of supplementing chemotherapy information using billing claims from six private oncology practices (OP). METHODS: To assess cancer patients' representativeness from OP, we compared individuals with invasive first primary cancers diagnosed during 2013-2015 in the GCR (cohort 1) with those who had at least one OP claim in the 12 months after diagnosis (cohort 2). To assess completeness of OP claims to capture chemotherapy (yes or no), we further restricted cohort 2 to patients ages 65 years and older enrolled in fee-for-service Medicare Part A and B from the diagnosis date through 12 months follow-up or to the date of death. With Medicare data serving as the gold standard, sensitivity, specificity, and kappa statistics for the receipt of chemotherapy per OP claims were calculated by demographic and clinical characteristics. RESULTS: Cancer patients seeking care in the OP included in our analysis were not representative of the underlying patient population in the GCR. The practices underrepresented minorities and uninsured while overrepresenting females, persons with high socioeconomic status, patients residing outside the metropolitan Atlanta area, and persons with advance staged disease. The ability of practice claims to identify chemotherapy receipt was moderate (76.1% sensitivity) but varied by demographic and clinical characteristics (76.1-83.0%). CONCLUSIONS: Given the limited ability of OP claims to identify chemotherapy receipt, we suggest analyzing these data for hypothesis generation, but inference should be limited to this patient cohort.