laboratory testing history

Historical laboratory data is of unique importance to insurers because it provides a retrospective view of an applicant’s health. Insights from our LabPiQture report can help insurers build a longitudinal history of an individual’s last seven years.

historical laboratory data

Brian Lanzrath, our Director of Analytics and LabPiQture expert, answers some of the commonly asked questions we receive from our clients. 

Interpreting the number of encounters and hit rates in our data

Q. How far back does your database pull results?
Our database pulls up to seven years of historical laboratory data, and we are continually working to expand our data sources. Recently, we incorporated LabCorp data into our LabPiQture results.

Q. How many encounters are detected through LabPiQture?  
It’s important to remember that not all life insurance applicants have had a clinical testing encounter within the FCRA-mandated seven-year lookback period. By our best estimates, 75%-85% of the all-ages life insurance population has had an encounter in the past seven years.

More specifically, we estimate that only around 40% of males 18-29 have had laboratory testing performed in the past seven years. However, this increases to ~60% for ages 30-39, ~70% for ages 40-49, ~77% for ages 50-59 and up to 84% for ages 60+.

Our studies also show that close to 90% of women across all age groups have had laboratory testing performed in the past seven years.

Of course, not all encounters are captured in our product as it exists today. Conditional on a laboratory test having been performed in the last seven years, there is roughly a 60-70% chance that it will be present in our data.

Q. What is the current LabPiQture hit rate?
The all-ages raw hit rate is 53%. The residual 47% includes both applicants who have not been tested clinically within the previous seven years, and tested individuals who are not present in our data. Hit rates are positively correlated with age and female gender, with men under 30 exhibiting by far the lowest rates. There are individual regions (including D.C., New Jersey, Arizona, and Connecticut) where our hit rates exceed 70%.

Top diagnoses and doctor account specialties

Q. What are the most common diagnoses reported through LabPiQture?
The table below shows the top ICD-10 codes and the percentage of applicants that had this ICD code in their LabPiQture report. As users gain experience with the ICD system, and the subset of medical conditions most often diagnosed/managed though laboratory testing, more nuanced interpretations of the broad categories below tend to become routine.

For instance, Z01 hypothetically includes any specialist checkup – anything from a dental cleaning, to a vision exam, to a hearing test. In practice, though, few of these encounters prompt laboratory testing. OBGYN checkups, by contrast, routinely generate tissue pathology data in the form of Pap smears – and indeed, 90% of LabPiQture Z01 codes are associated with Pap and HPV results. Z11 (“Encounter for screening for infectious/parasitic diseases”) is similarly broad in principle and would historically have been associated with conditions as wide-ranging as tuberculosis and hookworm. In practice, though, for modern populations this almost always indicates STD (including HIV and HCV) testing.

You can find a list of the top five diagnoses codes among females and males here.

Q. What are some the leading account doctor specialties?
Below is a list of our top 25 specialties. Drug rehab (#10) is of particular note. As recently as five years ago, this specialty was not in the top 25. In fact, it was only barely in the top 50. The greater prominence of this specialty reflects both the demand-side effects of the opioid epidemic, supply-side changes in mandates for health plans to cover many forms of drug treatment.

Learn more about LabPiQture and how you can leverage it in your underwriting process

For more information on LabPiQture and the data included in this report, you can access a link to our previously recorded webinar.

Last month we discussed five of the most common diagnoses codes among female life insurance applicants. Now, we are shifting that focus to male applicants and taking a look at their top five diagnoses revealed through LabPiQture™, as well as some of their surprising non-disclosure results discovered through laboratory testing.

Top five diagnoses codes among male life insurance applicants

male life insurance applicants top 5 diagnoses

Source: ExamOne

Three of the top five male diagnoses are the same as our female segment analysis. The two diagnoses that reached that top five in males, but not females are type 2 diabetes mellitus (#12 for females) and encounter for screening malignant neoplasms (#7 for females).

Type 2 diabetes mellitus

In a recent ExamOne study of results between January 2018 and May 2019, diabetes was confirmed in 4.8% of male applicants. In the cases of confirmed diabetes, 33.9% of these male applicants did not disclose they had this condition. Diabetes non-disclosure is often unintentional because many applicants are unaware they have it.

Encounter for screening malignant neoplasms

Encounter for Screening for Malignant Neoplasms (Z12) is an interesting illustration of the need to interpret a diagnosis in the context of the data source from which it is derived; in this case, clinical testing results. In general use, Z12 could reference a broad array of cancer screens, conducted by an equally diverse set of methods; mammograms, colonoscopies, MRIs, and digital rectal exams (DREs) are all included within this code. Within a LabPiQture context, however, only encounters associated with laboratory tests are generally reported. For cancer screens, this strongly implies PSA testing – which is, of course only performed on males.

Non-disclosure in male applicants  

Hypertension

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the top three diagnoses for males. We discovered that 58.6% of confirmed hypertensive males did not acknowledge an elevated blood pressure at the time of their interview/exam. According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals can live with hypertension for years without any symptoms. Continuing to live with uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to other health concerns including heart attack, stroke, heart failure and even dementia.

Obesity

In the same analysis of ExamOne applicants, 33.3% of male applicants were considered obese. Obesity is confirmed by obtaining an applicant’s height and weight, in addition to the self-reported medical history. However, 18.4% of obese male applicants reported a BMI <30. Male applicants were 2.5 times as likely to understate their weight as to overstate it, and 2.8% of males understated their weight by 25 lbs. or more, including 1% who understated it by at least 40 lbs. Obesity can be a concern for insurers as it can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even death.

Laboratory insights help insurers see a clearer picture of their applicants

Through both the historical laboratory data of LabPiQture and laboratory test results, insurers can build a retrospective and current picture of their applicants. LabPiQture provides insurers with past laboratory test results related to preventive care, diagnostic information and disease monitoring. Current laboratory testing obtained during the paramedical exam provides insights of what the applicant is living with today. The combination of data creates a very accurate perspective of an applicant’s health for underwriters to evaluate.

Five common diagnoses found in female life insurance applicants’ historical laboratory results

May 13, 2019 Carriers

Using laboratory testing history databases to evaluate applicant risk can provide underwriters a more complete picture of applicant health. Laboratory history data provides quick access to physician-ordered laboratory testing results, it verifies applicant self-reported medical disclosure, and it can reduce costs as a possible alternative to an Attending Physician Statement order. Recently, we presented some […]

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