Analysis of dementia in the US population using Medicare claims: Insights from linked survey and administrative claims data

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Abstract

Introduction: Medicare claims data may be a rich data source for tracking population dementia rates. Insufficient understanding of completeness of diagnosis, and for whom, limits their use. Methods: We analyzed agreement in prevalent and incident dementia based on cognitive assessment from the Health and Retirement Study for persons with linked Medicare claims from 2000 to 2008 (N = 10,450 persons). Multinomial logistic regression identified sociodemographic factors associated with disagreement. Results: Survey-based cognitive tests and claims-based dementia diagnosis yielded equal prevalence estimates, yet only half were identified by both measures. Race and education were associated with disagreement. Eighty-five percent of respondents with incident dementia measured by cognitive decline received a diagnosis or died within the study period, with lower odds among blacks and Hispanics than among whites. Discussions: Claims data are valuable for tracking dementia in the US population and improve over time. Delayed diagnosis may underestimate rates within black and Hispanic populations.

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Chen, Y., Tysinger, B., Crimmins, E., & Zissimopoulos, J. M. (2019). Analysis of dementia in the US population using Medicare claims: Insights from linked survey and administrative claims data. Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions, 5, 197–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trci.2019.04.003

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