Identifying neonatal intensive care (NICU) admissions using administrative claims data

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J Neonatal Perinatal Med


BACKGROUND: To define a method for identifying neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions using administrative claims data.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study using claims from Optum's de-identified Clinformatics® Data Mart Database (CDM) from 2016 -2020. We developed a definition to identify NICU admissions using a list of codes from the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and revenue codes frequently associated with NICU admissions. We compared agreement between codes using Kappa statistics and calculated positive predictive values (PPV) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: On average, revenue codes (3.3%) alone identified more NICU hospitalizations compared to CPT codes alone (1.5%), whereas the use of CPT and revenue (8.9%) and CPT or revenue codes (13.7%) captured the most NICU hospitalizations, which aligns with rates of preterm birth. Gestational age alone (4.2%) and birthweight codes alone (2.0%) identified the least number of potential NICU hospitalizations. Setting CPT codes as the standard and revenue codes as the "test,", revenue codes resulted in identifying 86% of NICU admissions (sensitivity) and 97% of non-NICU admissions (specificity).

CONCLUSIONS: Using administrative data, we developed a robust definition for identifying neonatal admissions. The identified definition of NICU codes is easily adaptable, repeatable, and flexible for use in other datasets.

Medical Subject Headings

Female; Humans; Infant, Newborn; Intensive Care, Neonatal; Intensive Care Units, Neonatal; Retrospective Studies; Premature Birth; Hospitalization

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