Friday, November 16, 2007

Working with SAS

An email we received:
I've presented at a couple of SAS conferences about how well your
product works with SAS.  

A representative of SAS Institute suggested that you might want to
mention that your product can be called from a SAS program and put a
link to my paper on your website.  Here is one:

I'm also happy to serve as a reference if anyone wants to know more
about it.

I really appreciate your help, and have been very happy with your

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Common Data Formatting Issues


As a test I'm regrouping some claims from the Medicare Inpatient SAF (LDS), and about 10% of the time, the results from the grouper do not match CMS's results. (Specifically, for around 1.2M claims, out of about 10M).

Some details:
  • We're using the newest grouper executable.
  • Mask version: 21 
  • Claim Through Dates: 2003-Q4 through 2004-Q3
The return codes are almost always 0 but the results often do not match. Sometimes it's b/c we don't have exact ages (everyone under 65 is just listed as 65; we don't have better info than that in the LDS SAF).

The biggest example, for each quarters:
  • Your grouper's result: 518
  • CMS-assigned DRG: 527
We have checked & rechecked the input files, control files etc. Everything looks right. The grouper return codes are good, and totaling the PFLAGs and DFLAGs shows no inconsistencies.


We test against the CMS grouper all the time, so this is baffling.

To really see, we would need an example or two (scrubbed of identifiers, preferably). While it is possible that our grouper has a bug in it, we are pleased to report that this is exceedingly rare. Typically, the issues we see are data handling or trivial-seeming formatting issues:
  • stripping leading zeroes from ICD9 codes
  • leading whitespace on ICD9 codes
  • non-contiguous ICD9 codes 
  • discharge disposition coding
But why guess? Send us a few records--10? 100?--and we will see what we see.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Running DRGFilt Under Windows


How do I run DRGFilt under windows?


You run DRGFilt from a command line, like so:

   - click on the Windows Start menu
   - click on the Run menu item
   - type "cmd" in the box
   - hit enter; you will get a "DOS box" with a prompt; let's say the prompt is ">"
   - type "cd \your-directory-name" and hit enter (replace "your-directory-name" with the name of the directory you are using)
   - type "drgfilt f25 drgmasks.f25 control.fil < input > output" and hit enter (replace "control.fil" with the name of your control file, "input" with the name of your input file and "output" with the name of your output file)

For detailed instructions, please refer to the DRGFilt chapter in the manual.

Monday, October 1, 2007

F25 Released

Our support for version 25 of the US Federal DRG assignment algorithm, active as of October 1st 2007, has just been released.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cross-check With US Federal Dataset


How do I confirm that my DRGGroupers product installation is working properly?


Every year, the US Federal government releases a test dataset against which we validate our implementation. In addition to the various inputs to DRG assignment, this test data set contains the expected DRG which should be the output. We run our implementation against the official mapping and ensure that our results conform.

We are happy to provide a copy of the test dataset along with the appropriate DRGFilt control file, free of charge, to any customer who asks for it.

See our FAQ for details about how we use the test dataset internally.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reseller's License


We are interested in your Reseller License agreement language and also your pricing.


We do not allow reselling (you selling our products yourself) but we do license integration (you using our products as part of your products).

We charge a flat fee [in September, 2007 it was $5,000] per product per organization. Sample license language is available on our web site, here[link removed] under Software Licenses.


Every license turns out to be different because every licensee is different, so we no longer publish a sample license. Our typical license includes the following:
  • a one-time fee per version per product (a limited but perpetual, non-revocable license)--ie v32 and v33 of the same product each requires their own license;
  • the right to redistribute our DRG assignment product or products while we retain all copyrights and ownership of intellectual property;
  • a flat fee  per product so that we do not have to police your sales;
  • the fee defaults to our current standard but can be negotiated downward if you agree to limited distribution or upward if you need special integration considerations