An evaluation of the completeness of tuberculosis case reporting using hospital billing and laboratory data; Wisconsin, 1995

Ann Epidemiol. 1999 Oct;9(7):419-23. doi: 10.1016/s1047-2797(99)00011-3.


Purpose: The study assesses the completeness of tuberculosis disease (TB) reporting in Wisconsin and evaluates the usefulness of laboratory and hospital discharge data as supplemental case ascertainment sources.

Methods: All 1995 hospital billing records with a discharge diagnosis code of TB (ICD-9 CM 010-018) were retrieved and matched to Wisconsin TB registry records. A hospital discharge summary was obtained for persons not in the registry to verify the TB diagnosis. A list of persons with specimens from which Mycobacterium tuberculosis was isolated in 1995 was requested from all Wisconsin and pertinent out-of-state laboratories and compared with the TB registry.

Results: Of the 88 TB cases identified from laboratory lists, one (1.1%) was unreported. Of the 51 TB cases identified from hospital discharge records, one (2.0%) was unreported. The positive predictive values of laboratory and hospital discharge data for a verified TB case were 98.9% and 38.3%, respectively.

Conclusions: In Wisconsin during 1995, nearly all TB cases among hospitalized persons or persons from whom M. tuberculosis was isolated were reported. Most persons having a TB diagnosis code did not have TB.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Continental Population Groups
  • Disease Notification*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Hospital Records
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Registries*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tuberculosis* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis* / prevention & control
  • Wisconsin