TABLE 6-1Potential Data Elements for a Minimum Data Set

DomainPossible Variables
Population Health Measures
 Mortality
 Generic HRQoLaSpecific measures TBD
Individual Characteristics
 DemographicsAge, gender, race/ethnicity, social security number, marital status
 Socioeconomic statusIncome, education, marital status, employment/work conditions and hours, social support networks, health literacy, social environment, physical environment, personal health practices, health services
Individuals: Physical and Mental Measures
 Anthropomorphic measuresHeight, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, heart rate
 ChemistriesCreatinine, glucose, direct low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, etc.
 FunctioningADL, IADL, mobility, cognitive limitations
Individuals: Behaviors
 SmokingSmoking/amount
 Alcohol abuseEthanol intake
 Physical activityIndicators of sedentary lifestyle
 Adherence to medical therapiesMedicines prescribed/taken
Health Services (ideally differentiating between acute and chronic)
 Primary care—outpatientHospital-based clinic, Y/N?; diagnoses for the encounter (ICD); procedure codes (CPT); provider ID; dates of service (for inpatient and output); type and other characteristicsb
 Specialty care—outpatientHospital-based clinic, Y/N? type?
 Hospital services
 Hospital services—provider
 PharmaceuticalsPrescription drugs taken chronically (probably more important than those taken short term).c
 Other (the current National Health Expenditure Accounts service categories, plus others)
 Core set of diseases linkable to utilization dataICD diagnoses or top 20–30 diseasesd
 Long-term care
 Palliative (end of life) careHospice, Y/N, home/elsewhere
 Residential care (if included in the domain of medical care)Assisted living, retirement homes
 Identifiers and other medical claim form informationUnique patient identifiers, ICD-9 codes for admission diagnosis, unique provider ID, dates of service, codes for identifying inpatient procedures performed, Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System for outpatient (such as lab work), service charges (amount billed), allowed amount, and paid amount.e
 Identifiers and other pharmaceutical claim form informationUnique patient ID, Unique pharmacist ID, National Drug Code and quantity of specific medicine, prescribing physician identifier, allowed amount, paid amount
 Identifiers and other hospital discharge abstract informationHospital identifier, admission source, discharge status, admission and discharge dates, length of stay, type of secondary insurance, patient demographics, ICD-9-CM diagnosis and CPT codes, assigned diagnostic related group and major diagnostic category, total charges
Other Determinants of Health
 EnvironmentClimate, air quality, access to clean water
 Geographic hospital dataWages, supplies, other hospital input prices, payer mix, disproportionate share status, hospital type (academic, community), rural, urban
a

HRQoL indicates health-related quality of life.

b

For example, a measure of how concentrated the medical care market is.

c

If it is not feasible to include entries for each drug, the top 20–30 (by sales) could simply be listed.

d

There are many ways to approach which diseases are most important but, again, one simple way is to rank by cost of illness.

e

Paid amount will be the hardest to get for commercial claims, but for many purposes it is the most important.

HRQoL indicates health-related quality of life.

For example, a measure of how concentrated the medical care market is.

If it is not feasible to include entries for each drug, the top 20–30 (by sales) could simply be listed.

There are many ways to approach which diseases are most important but, again, one simple way is to rank by cost of illness.

Paid amount will be the hardest to get for commercial claims, but for many purposes it is the most important.

From: 6, Linking Population Health to the Array of Health Inputs

Cover of Accounting for Health and Health Care
Accounting for Health and Health Care: Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their Improvement.
National Research Council (US) Panel to Advance a Research Program on the Design of National Health Accounts.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2010.
Copyright © 2010, National Academy of Sciences.

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