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Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRGs)

The Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRGs) is a classification system, which provides a clinically meaningful way to relate the number and type of patients treated in a hospital to the resources required by the hospital. AR-DRGs group patients with similar diagnoses requiring similar hospital services. 

Episodes of admitted acute care are assigned with disease and intervention codes by health information managers or clinical coders. AR-DRGs are then assigned based on these codes and a number of other routinely collected variables including: age, sex, mode of separation, length of stay, newborn admission weight and hours of mechanical ventilation.  

This process of assigning patient episodes to an AR-DRG is complex and is carried out using software that contains the AR-DRG algorithms, referred to as a 'grouper'.

AR-DRGs are used to calculate public hospital funding on an activity basis. They are also used for 

  • performance management
  • benchmarking 
  • facilitation of payment of services in the private healthcare sector
  • education 
  • epidemiology
  • research into the quality of healthcare and patient safety
  • health service planning.

Requests for content change

You can suggest changes to the AR-DRG and ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS classification systems via public submissions through the Australian Classification Exchange (ACE)

We encourage you to learn more about the requirements and process before lodging your submission. 

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