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Lynch KE, Viernes B, Gatsby E, DuVall SL, Jones BE, Box TL, Kreisler C, Jones M. Positive Predictive Value of COVID-19 ICD-10 Diagnosis Codes Across Calendar Time and Clinical Setting. Clinical epidemiology. 2021 Oct 27; 13:1011-1018.
PURPOSE: To estimate the positive predictive value (PPV) of International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code U07.1, COVID-19 virus identified, in the Department of Veterans of Affairs (VA). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Records of ICD-10 code U07.1 from inpatient, outpatient, and emergency/urgent care settings were extracted from VA medical record data from 4/01/2020 to 3/31/2021. A weighted, random sample of 1500 records from each quarter of the one-year observation period was reviewed by study personnel to confirm active COVID-19 infection at the time of diagnosis and classify reasons for false positive records. PPV was estimated overall and compared across clinical setting and quarters. RESULTS: We identified 664,406 records of U07.1. Among the 1500 reviewed, 237 were false positives (PPV: 84.2%, 95% CI: 82.4-86.0). PPV ranged from 77.7% in outpatient settings to 93.8% in inpatient settings and was 83.3% in quarter 1, 80.5% in quarter 2, 86.1% in quarter 3, and 83.6% in quarter 4. The most common reasons for false positive records were history of COVID-19 (44.3%) and orders for laboratory tests (21.5%). CONCLUSION: The PPV of ICD-10 code U07.1 is low, especially in outpatient settings. Directed training may improve accuracy of coding to levels that are deemed adequate for future use in surveillance efforts.