Background: We explored the utility of using insurance claims data for surveillance of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID rates are an important indicator of population level trends in reproductive morbidity; however, data available to monitor PID trends are limited. National survey data are currently used to estimate PID rates in the United States, but a declining number of cases threaten their future usefulness.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of PID diagnosis rates using administrative claims data from 2001 to 2005. Diagnostic codes were used to identify women aged 15 to 44 in the study population that were diagnosed with acute PID as inpatients, in emergency departments, and in outpatient ambulatory settings.
Results: Rates of PID diagnoses among privately insured women declined significantly from 2001 to 2005 among all age groups examined and within all geographic regions. Annual PID diagnosis rates decreased from 317.0 to 236.0 per 100,000 enrollees, representing a 25.5% decline over the study period. The highest rates of PID were among 25- to 29-year-olds (352.8 per 100,000 in 2005) and among those residing in the South (314.3 per 100,000 in 2005). Most women (70.1%) received PID care through physician offices and other outpatient facilities; of these women, approximately 40% were treated by an obstetrician/gynecologist.
Conclusions: The decline in PID diagnoses corresponds with previous reports from national surveys. Claims data offer a much needed new data source that will allow for continued monitoring of PID among a broad population in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings.