Laboratory Claims Collection

The Laboratory Claims Collection (Labs) contains claim and payment information for community laboratory tests.

Labs allows the Ministry of Health, DHBs, PHOs and researchers to monitor the use of community laboratories.

Scope

Purpose

The Laboratory Claims Collection (Labs) allows the Ministry of Health and DHBs to monitor the primary-care test subsidies.

Content

The Labs collection contains claim and payment information for laboratory tests that have been processed by the Sector Operations General Transaction Processing System (GTPS). It also contains laboratory test information from Pegasus and Medlab South IPA providers.

As at February 2011, this amounted to over 275 million rows of claim and payment data.

Start date

The Labs collection was established in 2000 and contains data from July 1997.

Guide for use

The Labs collection contains claim and payment information that has been audited against the Sector Operations Payments system and some DHBs.

Until late 2003, Labs is known to incorrectly attribute laboratory test costs to DHBs. This happens when the DHB is identified by the domicile codes of the providers who ordered the tests, and some providers order tests from laboratories funded by other DHBs. The error range is from 10 to 15 percent. With the introduction of the Funding DHB field, when populated this data will be accurate.

For further details refer to the Laboratory Claims Data Mart Data Dictionary.

Collection methods – guide for providers

Data is sourced from Sector Operations’ GTPS and bulk-funded data from Pegasus and Medlab South IPAs.

Frequency of updates

The Labs collection receives monthly extracts from Sector Operations and Pegasus.

Security of data

The Labs collection is accessed by authorised National Collections and Reporting staff for maintenance, data quality, audit and analytical purposes.

Authorised members of the Ministry of Health have access to the data for analytical purposes, via the Business Objects reporting tool and the secure Health Information Network (HIN). Business Objects contains a subset of the data described in the Labs Data Dictionary.

Privacy issues

The Ministry of Health is required to ensure that the release of information recognises any legislation related to the privacy of health information, in particular the Official Information Act 1982, the Privacy Act 1993 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994.

Information available to the general public is of a statistical and non-identifiable nature. Researchers requiring identifiable data will usually need approval from an Ethics Committee.

In 2010 claims, the encrypted NHI number is stored for approximately 98 percent of laboratory test records. (In earlier years, it varied, dropping to as low as 13 percent in 1997 claims.) Identifying information is only held for health providers who request the test and not for the pathologist performing the test.

National reports and publications

Monthly standard reports for DHBs are available via the HIN.

Data provision

Customised datasets or summary reports are available on request, either electronically or on paper. Staff from the Analytical Services team can help to define the specifications for a request and are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the data.

The Analytical Services team also offer a peer review service to ensure that data from the national collections is reported appropriately when published by other organisations.

There may be charges associated with data extracts.

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