Private Payers Serving Individuals with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions. III. OPERATIONAL MEASUREMENT OF CHRONIC ILLNESS AND POTENTIAL DISABILITY FOR THE PRIVATE PAYERS STUDY

01/01/2000

The Private Payers Study was undertaken to compare the characteristics, health service utilization patterns, and expenditures of people with potentially disabling chronic conditions in managed care and indemnity insurance plans. An important issue is the appropriate definition of potential disability that underlies all empirical analyses conducted for this project. The health services literature offers a variety of definitions of the term “disability,” and this chapter begins with a description of those definitions. We then relate those definitions to methods chosen for this project to define people with potentially disabling chronic conditions using claims data. In concluding this chapter, we describe several additional options for defining potentially disabled people, and note our reasons for not using these options for this study.

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