Correlation Patterns between Primary and Secondary Diagnosis Codes in the Social Security Disability Programs

ORES Working Paper Series, No. 113

92 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2018

See all articles by Javier Meseguer

Javier Meseguer

U.S. Social Security Administration

Date Written: June 18, 2018

Abstract

This paper addresses impairment co-morbidity among participants in programs that provide dis-ability benefits. Co-morbidity in this context is defined as the simultaneous presence of a primary and a secondary medical diagnosis. I fit a high-dimensional Bayesian multivariate probit model with a 10% random sample of 2009 initial claimants (disabled workers, including individuals concurrently applying for Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income). The resulting correlation estimates provide evidence of strong impairment co-morbidity patterns at the initial-claim level. Many of the findings mirror the epidemiological evidence, such as associations of diabetes with chronic renal failure, open wounds of a lower limb, peripheral neuropathies, and blindness/low vision. Other results are surprising. For instance, the correlation estimates defy the presumption of high positive association between mental and musculoskeletal-system diagnoses.

Keywords: Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Comorbidity, Diagnoses

JEL Classification: C30, H53, I38

Suggested Citation

Meseguer, Javier, Correlation Patterns between Primary and Secondary Diagnosis Codes in the Social Security Disability Programs (June 18, 2018). ORES Working Paper Series, No. 113. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3198836 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3198836

Javier Meseguer (Contact Author)

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States

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