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The AR-DRG classification system

Admitted acute episodes of care in Australian public and private hospitals are coded. The coding system is based on a set of three standards:

  • International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) is used to code diseases and problems
  • Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI) is used to code procedures and interventions
  • Australian Coding Standards (ACS) is used as a supplement to ICD-10-AM and ACHI to assist Clinical Coders in the use of the classifications.

These standards form the basis of the Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Group (AR-DRG) classification system with procedure and diagnosis codes grouped to DRGs.

The disease and procedure classifications and coding standards and the AR-DRG system, are currently updated approximately every two years to reflect changes in clinical practice, and to ensure the classifications remain clinically relevant and robust.

Wide clinical consultation is undertaken through committees and working groups which include the ICD-10-AM Technical Group (ITG) and the DRG Technical Group (DTG) specifically established to inform the development and refinements of the AR-DRG classification system.

The codes from ICD-10-AM and ACHI form the foundation of the AR-DRG system and hence good quality clinical documentation and clinical coding using these two classifications is vital for accurate and representative DRG assignment.

AR-DRG version 8.0 is the current version of the classification, and will be used for pricing from July 2016. Read more about the development of the AR-DRG classification system here.

The current Ninth Edition of ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS was implemented on 1 July 2015.