Validation of claims-based algorithms for pulmonary arterial hypertension

Ravikanth Papani, Gulshan Sharma, Amitesh Agarwal, Sean J. Callahan, Winston J. Chan, Yong Fang Kuo, Yun M. Shim, Andrew D. Mihalek, Alexander G. Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Administrative claims studies do not adequately distinguish pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) from other forms of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Our aim is to develop and validate a set of algorithms using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes and electronic medical records (EMR), to identify patients with PAH. From January 2012 to August 2015, the EMRs of patients with ICD-9-CM codes for PH with an outpatient visit at the University of Texas Medical Branch were reviewed. Patients were divided into PAH or non-PAH groups according to EMR encounter diagnosis. Patient demographics, echocardiography, right heart catheterization (RHC) results, and PAH-specific therapies were assessed. RHC measurements were reviewed to categorize cases as hemodynamically determined PAH or not PAH. Weighted sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated for the developed algorithms. A logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine how well the algorithms performed. External validation was performed at the University of Virginia Health System. The cohort for the development algorithms consisted of 683 patients with PH, PAH group (n = 191) and non-PAH group (n = 492). A hemodynamic diagnosis of PAH determined by RHC was recorded in the PAH (26%) and non-PAH (3%) groups. The positive predictive value for the algorithm that included ICD-9-CM and PAH-specific medications was 66.9% and sensitivity was 28.2% with a c-statistic of 0.66. The positive predictive value for the EMR-based algorithm that included ICD-9-CM, EMR encounter diagnosis, echocardiography, RHC, and PAH-specific medication was 69.4% and a c-statistic of 0.87. A validation cohort of 177 patients with PH examined from August 2015 to August 2016 using EMR-based algorithms yielded a similar positive predictive value of 62.5%. In conclusion, claims-based algorithms that included ICD-9-CM codes, EMR encounter diagnosis, echocardiography, RHC, and PAH-specific medications better-identified patients with PAH than ICD-9-CM codes alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPulmonary Circulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • administrative claims
  • idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • validation studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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