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Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRGs) is an Australian admitted patient classification system which provides a clinically meaningful way of relating the number and type of patients treated in a hospital (that is, its casemix) to the resources required by the hospital. Each AR-DRG represents a class of patients with similar clinical conditions requiring similar hospital services. The classification categorises acute admitted patient episodes of care into groups with similar conditions and similar usage of hospital resources, using information in the hospital morbidity record such as the diagnoses, procedures and demographic characteristics of the patient.
The AR-DRG data cubes contain separations for which the care type was specifically reported as Acute, Newborn (for separations with at least one qualified day) or was not reported (see the Glossary). Where identifiable, other separation care types have been excluded.
The source of these data is the AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database. Other data on the principal diagnoses and AR-DRGs of hospitalised patients is available in the Australian hospital statistics reports. Some data have been revised since previously published. For confidentiality, some data have been suppressed.
Data cubes will open in a new window.
The use of the different editions in the six data cubes means that data across years may not be exactly comparable.
The variables in the data cube are:
The measures (values) in the data cube are:
Within the cubes, users can view the AR-DRG by using a pull-down menu and can work down from the Major Diagnostic Category (MDC) level to the surgical/medical/other partition of the MDC to the individual DRGs, as outlined below.
Users of the data cube are likely to require some familiarity with AR-DRGs and have access to the definitions manual. This data access system does not allow searching on key words for AR-DRG. Users will generally need to know what MDC the information they are looking for is in, to work down to more specific levels of detail.
The AR-DRG classification is separated into 23 Major Diagnostic Categories (MDCs) and further categorised into medical, surgical and other groupings. AR-DRG assignment is also influenced by procedures, medical conditions and other factors that differentiate processes of care.
For further information on AR-DRGs refer to the Department of Health website.
The AR-DRG classification is regularly updated to align with continual changes to medical or surgical practices and techniques, which are reflected in changes in the ICD-10-AM and ACHI coding systems. Table 1 shows the relevant ICD-10-AM editions and AR-DRG versions from 1998–99 to 2011–12. AR–DRG Classification, version 7.0, used for the 2013-14 year, was released in October 2012.
For further information regarding ICD-10-AM and ACHI classification systems refer to the Australian Consortium for Classification Development.
AR-DRG logic and definition changes may require the mapping of ICD-10-AM diagnosis and ACHI procedure codes between editions. 'Mapping' refers to the process of finding an 'equivalent' code between two editions (or classifications for the 1998–99 year) to enable data users to interpret data partly classified in one edition/classification and partly classified in another. This means that the data will not be completely comparable between years. Caution should therefore be exercised in comparing data between years.
In order to maintain confidentiality some data have been suppressed at the Diagnosis Related Group level if:
Data for the suppressed categories will not appear in the data cubes, but will be included in the surgical/medical/other partition, MDC, and grand totals. Thus, the sum of separation counts presented within a surgical/medical/other partition or MDC may not match the total.