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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Payer Records
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Federal and private insurers maintain records of their transactions which contain information about the diagnoses and procedures that are associated with expenditures. they also maintain information about their enrollees—persons who participate in their insurance plans and are eligible to receive benefits.

These records provide a useful source of detailed information about health care and the conditions that are associated with procedures.

Because payer records are based on actual transactions, these records
  • Capture information at the time when service is billed.
  • Do not suffer from the same kind of response issues inherent in interview data.
  • Can be used reliably to track detailed information about procedures, medications and diagnoses.
  • Offer detailed information about population which have almost universal coverage by key payers—
    • For example, the Medicare system covers almost all persons living in the US who are older than 64
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