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J Clin Epidemiol. 1999 Feb;52(2):137-42.

A comparison of the Charlson comorbidity index derived from medical record data and administrative billing data.

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Kerr L. White Institute for Health Services Research, Decatur, Georgia 30030, USA.


The objective of this article is to compare the Charlson comorbidity index derived from medical record data (Chart Index) with the same index derived from billing data (ICD-9 Index) to determine how well each predicted inpatient and 30-day mortality, length of stay, and complications among Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized for carotid endarterectomy. Economic and time constraints have increased the need for risk adjusters derived from administrative data, yet few studies have compared these measures with those derived from chart review. Using logistic regression, the Chart Index was found to be a significant predictor of inpatient mortality, 30-day mortality, length of stay, and complications, after controlling for age, gender, and neurologic and medical risk factors (P values = 0.004, 0.056, 0.0001, and 0.042, respectively). The ICD-9 Index approached significance as a predictor of the outcomes (P values = 0.092, 0.100, 0.093, and 0.080, respectively). The Chart Index was shown to be superior to the ICD-9 Index within this patient sample.

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