BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE
Lyme disease (LD) is the fifth most commonly reported notifiable infectious disease in the United States (US) with approximately 35,000 cases reported in 2019 via public health surveillance. However, healthcare claims-based studies estimate that the number of LD cases is >10 times larger than reported through surveillance. To assess the burden of LD using healthcare claims data and the effectiveness of interventions for LD prevention and treatment, it is important to use validated well-performing LD case-finding algorithms ("LD algorithms"). We conducted a systematic literature review to identify LD algorithms used with US healthcare claims data and their validation status.
We searched PubMed and Embase for articles published in English since January 1, 2000 (search date: February 20, 2021), using the following search terms: (1) "Lyme disease"; and (2) "claim*" or "administrative* data"; and (3) "United States" or "the US*". We then reviewed the titles, abstracts, full texts, and bibliographies of the articles to select eligible articles, i.e., those describing LD algorithms used with US healthcare claims data.
We identified 15 eligible articles. Of these, seven studies used LD algorithms with LD diagnosis codes only, four studies used LD diagnosis codes and antibiotic dispensing records, and the remaining four studies used serologic test order codes in combination with LD diagnosis codes and antibiotics records. Only one of the studies that provided data on algorithm performance: sensitivity 50% and positive predictive value 5%, and this was based on Lyme disease diagnosis code only.
US claims-based LD case-finding algorithms have used diverse strategies. Only one algorithm was validated, and its performance was poor. Further studies are warranted to assess performance for different algorithm designs and inform efforts to better assess the true burden of LD.