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Improving Disparity Research by Imputing Missing Data in Health Care Records

Several years ago, the Chief Scientist at Abt Associates asked my research assistant whether she was experienced at assembling analysis files. Here response was, "Yes, I make up data for Bill Rhodes all the time." After clarifying that she meant converting raw data into files suitable for statistical analysis, this episode became a humorous ancedote rather than cause for my dismissal. After all, for scientist, fabricating data is professional malfeasance.

In this issue of Health Services Research, Grundmeier et al. openly advocates fabricating data. Yet, instead of condemning the researcher, I concur with their recommendations and offer congratulations on a valuable paper. This paradox requires explnation.

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