Carelon Research impact study: Validation of integrated claims and clinical oncology data

June 2022 | Written by Ralph Quimbo, MA

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Carelon Research Founder’s Day, we’re rolling out a series of articles highlighting some of our most impactful work. These ‘impact studies’ have contributed to the growing evidence base that influences healthcare decision makers and healthcare policy and practice. They also showcase the diverse service offerings at Carelon Research. Though all our work aims to improve the quality of healthcare, we’re especially proud of this work from research teams across our organization.

There is no cure for cancer – at least, not yet…

“[But] the better we understand these diseases, the more progress we will make toward diminishing the tremendous human and economic tolls of cancer .”

Researching cancer is important, but doing it effectively starts with utilizing quality data. Carelon Research (formerly HealthCore) validated a unique set of clinical data, longitudinally integrated with claims, from a novel Cancer Care Quality Program (CCQP) to increase efficiency and reduce costs associated with future observational research, and enhance our ability to more effectively study clinical oncology outcomes and interventions .

Researchers at Carelon Research examined the validity of the CCQP data  relative to information abstracted from the redacted medical records of breast, lung, and colorectal cancer patients. Data elements included cancer type, stage, histology (lung only), and biomarkers.

The study found that data collected from the CCQP are highly precise relative to what we would expect from the gold standard (medical record data) and the strength of the validity (agreement, positive predictive value [PPV], negative predictive value [NPV], sensitivity, specificity) of this data provides increased depth to our ability to conduct more robust cancer research.

Following this validation study, Carelon Research has utilized these data to better understand things such as new paradigms of oncology testing and treatment and their impact on healthcare resource utilization and costs of care.

 We evaluated the incidence and risk factors of venous thromboembolism (VTE, or blood clots in the veins) among advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients on first-line immune checkpoint inhibitor-based, chemo-based, or ICI + chemo regimens and uncovered a continued need for awareness of VTE as a comorbidity in the NSCLC population .

In a retrospective cohort study of first-line treatment patterns and economic outcomes among patients with advanced metastatic gastric cancer and esophageal cancer – both resource-intensive and costly – we found that high costs and short treatment durations underscored a gap in care in first-line treatment .

Carelon Research continues to enhance claims-based studies by providing real-world clinical data directly integrated with healthcare utilization data that may not otherwise be available to researchers on a national level. Such highly precise data are enabling faster and more efficient generation of real-world evidence in the oncology space.

For more information about our health economics and outcomes research capabilities, including project management, literature reviews, data management, large and complex database analytics, machine learning, patient and provider outreach, medical record review and abstraction, and survey-based-research, visit our page.

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