Lifting the weight of a diagnosis-related groups family change: a comparison between refined and non-refined DRG systems for top-down cost accounting and efficiency indicators

Health Inf Manag. 2015;44(2):12-9.


Public healthcare providers in all Spanish Regions - Autonomous Communities (ACs) use All Patients Diagnosis-Related Groups (AP-DRGs) for billing non-insured patients, cost accounting and inpatient efficiency indicators. A national migration to All Patients Refined Diagnosis-Related Groups (APR-DRGs) has been scheduled for 2016. The analysis was performed on 202,912 inpatient care episodes ranging from 2005 to 2010. All episodes were grouped using AP-DRG v25.0 and APR-DRG v24.0. Normalised DRG weight variations for an AP-DRG to APR-DRG migration scenario were calculated and compared. Major differences exist between normalised weights for inpatient episodes depending on the DRGs family used. The usage of the APR-DRG system in Spain without any adjustments, as it was developed in the United States, should be approached with care. In order to avoid reverse incentives and provider financial risks, coding practices should be reviewed and structural differences between DRG families taken into account.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis-Related Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spain