Use of Health Insurance Data For Surveillance of Farm Related Illnesses and Injuries

  • Doss, Howard J.;
  • Rosenman, Kenneth;
  • Burns, P.

Paid health insurance claims were obtained for 1991-1993 for farmer subscribers from a major insurance company in Michigan. 314,597 health insurance claims were paid in 1991, 428,848 claims in 1992 and 386,359 claims in 1993. This included both in-patient and out-patient claims. There were 27,752 subscribers and their dependents insured as of January, 1994. This includes 9,798 adult males, 13,958 adult females and 3,996 children. Repeated claims for the same medical condition were excluded. Analysis of claims were performed for 37 conditions. The average number of people treated each year over the three-year period for each of 37 selected medical conditions was: lip cancer, 9; liver cancer, 15; stomach cancer, 32; bone cancer, 78; malignant melanoma, 52; skin cancer, 592; prostate cancer, 572; brain cancer, 146; lymphoma, 39; Hodgkins disease, 20; other lymphoid cancer, 147; multiple myeloma, 51; leukemia, 145; hearing loss, 316; bronchitis, 469; chronic bronchitis, 168; emphysema, 268; asthma, 671; farmer's lung, 6; bird-fancier's lung, 1; other allergic alveolitis, 1; silo fillers' disease, 0; fractures, 3,379; dislocations, 4,089; sprains and strains, 1,538; intracranial injury, 272; internal injury, 97; open wounds, 1,709; injury to blood vessels, 24; superficial injury, 379; contusion, 1,074; burns, 155; injury to nerves, 53; traumatic complications, 1,520; toxic effects of chlorinated hydrocarbons, 1; and toxic effects of other pesticides, 2.

Frequencies were calculated by age, gender and county. Rates by county were also calculated. Comparisons between counties allow us to identify areas in the state in which to prioritize educational activity. Use of this data on an annual basis allows for on-going surveillance that can he useful for both prioritizing and evaluating the effectiveness of educational activity.

This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The authors noted above are from: All at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.

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