Concordance between Registry and Administrative Data in the Determination of Comorbidity: A Multi-institutional Study

David A. Etzioni, Cynthia Lessow, Liliana G. Bordeianou, Hiroko Kunitake, Sarah E. Deery, Evie Carchman, Christina M. Papageorge, George Fuhrman, Rachel L. Seiler, James Ogilvie, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Yu Hui H. Chang, Samuel R. Money

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective:To characterize agreement between administrative and registry data in the determination of patient-level comorbidities.Background:Previous research finds poor agreement between these 2 types of data in the determination of outcomes. We hypothesized that concordance between administrative and registry data would also be poor.Methods:A cohort of inpatient operations (length of stay 1 day or greater) was obtained from a consortium of 8 hospitals. Within each hospital, National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) data were merged with intra-institutional inpatient administrative data. Twelve different comorbidities (diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, hemodialysis-dependence, cancer diagnosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ascites, sepsis, smoking, steroid, congestive heart failure, acute renal failure, and dyspnea) were analyzed in terms of agreement between administrative and NSQIP data.Results:Forty-one thousand four hundred thirty-two inpatient surgical hospitalizations were analyzed in this study. Concordance (Cohen Kappa value) between the 2 data sources varied from 0.79 (diabetes) to 0.02 (dyspnea). Hospital variation in concordance (intersite variation) was quantified using a test of homogeneity. This test found significant intersite variation at a level of P < 0.001 for each of the comorbidities except for dialysis (P = 0.07) and acute renal failure (P = 0.19). These findings imply significant differences between hospitals in their generation of comorbidity data.Conclusion:This study finds significant differences in how administrative versus registry data assess patient-level comorbidity. These differences are of concern to patients, payers, and providers, each of which had a stake in the integrity of these data. Standardized definitions of comorbidity and periodic audits are necessary to ensure data accuracy and minimize bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1011
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • public reporting
  • quality of care
  • risk-adjustment
  • surgical outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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