Coding algorithms for identifying patients with cirrhosis and hepatitis B or C virus using administrative data

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Background and aims

Despite the use of administrative data to perform epidemiological and cost-effectiveness research on patients with hepatitis B or C virus (HBV, HCV), there are no data outside of the Veterans Health Administration validating whether International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes can accurately identify cirrhotic patients with HBV or HCV. The validation of such algorithms is necessary for future epidemiological studies.


We evaluated the positive predictive value (PPV) of ICD-9-CM codes for identifying chronic HBV or HCV among cirrhotic patients within the University of Pennsylvania Health System, a large network that includes a tertiary care referral center, a community-based hospital, and multiple outpatient practices across southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. We reviewed a random sample of 200 cirrhotic patients with ICD-9-CM codes for HCV and 150 cirrhotic patients with ICD-9-CM codes for HBV.


The PPV of 1 inpatient or 2 outpatient HCV codes was 88.0% (168/191, 95% CI: 82.5–92.2%), while the PPV of 1 inpatient or 2 outpatient HBV codes was 81.3% (113/139, 95% CI: 73.8–87.4%). Several variations of the primary coding algorithm were evaluated to determine if different combinations of inpatient and/or outpatient ICD-9-CM codes could increase the PPV of the coding algorithm.


ICD-9-CM codes can identify chronic HBV or HCV in cirrhotic patients with a high PPV and can be used in future epidemiologic studies to examine disease burden and the proper allocation of resources. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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