Predicting costs with diabetes complications severity index in claims data

Hsien Yen Chang, Jonathan P. Weiner, Thomas M. Richards, Sara N. Bleich, Jodi B. Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Objectives: To test the usefulness of the Diabetes Complications Severity Index (DCSI) without laboratory test results in predicting healthcare costs, for potential use in disease management programs. Study Design: Retrospective cohort study using up to 2 years of claims data from 7 health insurance plans. Methods: Individuals with diabetes mellitus and continuous enrollment were study subjects. The DCSI (sum of 7 diabetes complications graded by severity as 0, 1, or 2; range 0-13) and count of diabetes complications (sum of 7 diabetes complications without severity grading; range 0-7) were the main independent variables and were generated using only diagnostic codes. We analyzed 5 types of healthcare costs (ie, total costs, inpatient costs, hospital other costs, pharmacy costs, and professional costs) attributable to the DCSI and the complication count with linear regression models, both concurrently and prospectively. Results: The DCSI without laboratory data was a better predictor of costs than was complication count (adjusted R2 of total costs: 0.095 vs 0.080). The DCSI explained concurrent costs better than future costs (adjusted R2 of total costs: 0.095 vs 0.019). There were important differences in healthcare utilization among people stratifi ed by DCSI scores: 5-fold and 3-fold differences in concurrent and prospective total costs, respectively, across 4 DCSI groups. Conclusions: The DCSI without laboratory data may be useful for stratifying individuals with diabetes into morbidity groups, which can be used for selection into disease management programs or for matching in observational research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting costs with diabetes complications severity index in claims data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this