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Can Claims-Based Data Be Used to Recruit Black and Hispanic Subjects into Clinical Trials?


Address correspondence to Ana M. Palacio, M.D., M.P.H., Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; The Miami VA Medical Center, 1120 NW 14th Street, Suite 967, Miami, FL 33136; e-mail:



Evaluate the accuracy of an algorithm at identifying ethnic minorities from administrative claims for enrollment into a clinical trial.

Data Sources/Study Setting

Claims data from a health benefits company.

Study Design

We compared results of a three-step algorithm to self-reported race/ethnicity.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

Using the algorithm, we identified subjects with high probability of being minority and ascertained self-reported race/ethnicity.

Principal Findings

We identified 164 subjects as likely minority based on our algorithm. Of these, 94 completed the survey and 87 identified themselves as black or Hispanic. The positive predictive value of the algorithm was 93 percent (CI: 85–97).


Claims data can be used to efficiently identify minorities for participation in clinical trials.