How Medical Billing Records Tell A More Complete Story of COVID Patients
By Devin Partida, technology writer and the editor-in-chief, ReHack.com.
Medical billing records may help create a fuller picture of how the COVID-19 virus has impacted the country.
Researchers have started taking to repositories of claim and billing code data to learn more about patients — who they are, what challenges they faced and how they had to navigate the health care system during a pandemic.
Combined with other data on the financial impact of COVID, this research offers a much clearer view of how the pandemic has impacted patients and strained the American medical system.
1. Chronic Kidney Disease May Be the Most Common COVID-19 Comorbidity
In July, FAIR Health, a provider of health care solutions, released a report on how billing records could reveal more about COVID patients’ stories. Most prior case studies found that type 2 diabetes and hypertension were the most common comorbidities. Respiratory conditions, like asthma, COPD and sleep apnea, along with heart conditions, typically made up the rest of the top 10.
The billing data was mostly in line with these previous findings — but had one key difference. The No. 1 comorbidity was chronic kidney disease and failure, rather than hypertension or diabetes.
The FAIR Health report also diverged from other case studies in finding that anxiety was one of the top 10 comorbidities, coming in at ninth place.