Research Opportunities of a New Private Health Insurance Claims Data Set
Health Management, Policy and Innovation, 1(1); 37-41
5 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2012
Date Written: September 12, 2012
In July 2012 FAIR Health, Inc. began allowing researchers to obtain data from the National Private Insurance Claims (NPIC) Database, the largest independent private claims collection in the United States. A great deal of work has been done examining how Medicare patients are treated, and how the quantity, cost, and quality of that treatment vary across markets. Less is known regarding how privately insured patients are treated, even though they represent the majority of patients in the U.S. And few studies combine data on Medicare (or Medicaid) and privately insured patients to compile a more complete picture of providers’ treatment decisions at the market level. The recent release of the NPIC helps address this imbalance by focusing on the privately insured market. For the past two years I have served as the Research Director of the Upstate Health Research Network (UHRN), a group of researchers from many universities that have developed recommendations for how FAIR Health can improve the accuracy and transparency of the products it offers to health insurers. In this article I describe the characteristics of the NPIC data and discuss the research opportunities it presents for health economists, health services researchers, and policy makers.
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