Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRGs)

Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) is a patient classification system that provides a clinically meaningful way of relating the types of patients treated in a hospital to the resources required by the hospital. It consists of about 670 patient classes with each patient being classified based on their diagnoses, surgical procedures and other routinely collected data. In Activity Based Funding (ABF), a different price is paid for each class and that price depends on what each class typically costs. The codes from ICD-10-AM and ACHI form the foundation of AR-DRG and hence good quality clinical coding using these two classifications is vital to accurate and representative DRG assignment. 

The latest version of the AR-DRG Classification (Version 6.0) was released in November 2008. It is a major update to the classification and incorporates the Sixth Edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM), The Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI) and The Australian Coding Standards (ACS).

In 2009 the Department of Health and Ageing commissioned a review of the AR-DRG Classification. As a result of this Review, the next revision of the AR-DRG will be developed in parallel with the next edition of ICD-10-AM with both classifications released for implementation in 2013. For more about the Review, see here.

For information about international licencing of the AR-DRG System refer to the IHPA website.

Overview of Changes in AR-DRGs Version 7.0

Following are links to documents which provide an overview of AR-DRG Version 7.0, including the number and types of changes between V6.0 and V7.0. AR-DRG Version 7.0 has been developed with the detailed involvement of both DRG (acute inpatient casemix) and ICD (clinical coding) technical experts from across Australia and New Zealand. There has also been extensive consultation with individual clinicians and expert clinical groups with regard to areas requiring clinical review.

Many changes to the classification were made as a result of public submissions.     

AR-DRG Version 7.0 was released in late October 2012.


Last reviewed: 15 July, 2013