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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1543; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121543

Individual Data Linkage of Survey Data with Claims Data in Germany—An Overview Based on a Cohort Study

Institute of Social Medicine and Health Economics, Medical Faculty, Otto-von-Guericke-University, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
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Abstract

Research based on health insurance data has a long tradition in Germany. By contrast, data linkage of survey data with such claims data is a relatively new field of research with high potential. Data linkage opens up new opportunities for analyses in the field of health services research and public health. Germany has comprehensive rules and regulations of data protection that have to be followed. Therefore, a written informed consent is needed for individual data linkage. Additionally, the health system is characterized by heterogeneity of health insurance. The lidA-living at work-study is a cohort study on work, age and health, which linked survey data with claims data of a large number of statutory health insurance data. All health insurance funds were contacted, of whom a written consent was given. This paper will give an overview of individual data linkage of survey data with German claims data on the example of the lidA-study results. The challenges and limitations of data linkage will be presented. Despite heterogeneity, such kind of studies is possible with a negligibly small influence of bias. The experience we gain in lidA will be shown and provide important insights for other studies focusing on data linkage. View Full-Text
Keywords: record linkage; data linkage; Germany; statutory health insurance funds; routine data; primary data; data protection; secondary data; health claims data record linkage; data linkage; Germany; statutory health insurance funds; routine data; primary data; data protection; secondary data; health claims data
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March, S. Individual Data Linkage of Survey Data with Claims Data in Germany—An Overview Based on a Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1543.

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