In February 2012, IHPA’s Emergency Care Advisory Working Group (ECAWG) undertook a refinement of URGs and UDGs which resulted in the creation of version 1.2 of these classifications. Version 1.2 was used in the determination of the National Efficient Price 2012-13.
In October 2012, ECAWG undertook a subsequent refinement of version 1.2 and added new categories relating to transfer presentations, died in ED presentations and modified categories relating to planned return visit presentations. This resulted in the creation of version 1.3 of URGs and UDGs. Version 1.3 has been used in the determination of the National Efficient Price 2013-14.
In 2013, IHPA undertook a review to improve the clinical meaningfulness of the URG classification and its ability to explain differences in costs, as well as the mapping of diagnosis codes to major diagnostic blocks. This resulted in the creation of URG version 1.4 which was used in the determination of the National Efficient Price 2014-15.
URGs and UDGs were developed in 1992 by Dr George Jelinek based on studies of patients treated in EDs from Western Australian hospitals. The initial UDGs classified patients into 12 groups based on two variables: the episode end status (admitted or discharged) and level of urgency (triage category one to five). Similarly, the URG classification was developed as an extension of the UDG classification that utilised a third variable (major diagnostic blocks). This resulted in 73 URGs being formed.