Friday, December 4, 2009

How Do I Update?


Last year, my company purchased the MS Access version of your grouper
(v25) and we are interested in updating the version to v26. I am under
the impression that I can do that by simply purchasing a mask, but
before I do that I would like confirmation that is the case.


Sadly, the short answer is "no, you need more than the masks."

Because of the way that DRG versions are defined, you need both logic (encoded in software) and the code-specific attributes (encoded in masks) to assign a DRG. So, in effect, every year's version is a brand new product.

For your convenience, we provide backward compatibility for our products. This means two things:

  • If you want to support DRGs prior to the version you own, all you have to purchase is a masks file.
  • If you keep the masks files and keep buying new software, your new software can assign DRGs in any version from the current version back to any earlier version.
So you have to buy new software every year, but you can use that software to replace previous versions if you wish to.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Demo Version?


I spoke to you on the phone a week or so ago re: your Excel product. We are very interested in purchasing the product, but I was wondering if we could get a demo or an older version to test to see if it meets our needs?


Certainly. We do not have a demo version per se; instead we offer very old versions of our software as a way to try before you buy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where Is DRG Algorithm?


On your page at you mention that the CMS DRG grouping algorithm is public.  I assume the same is true for the APC grouping algorithm.  How can one find or purchase a description of the algorithm (human readable)?

The CMS DRG grouping algorithm is available from 3M. We don't deal with APC DRGs, so we cannot help you there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grouping Data in Oracle


I am interested in running a DRG grouper against large (over a million records) data sets.  My Oracle data warehouse sits on a Solaris box, but I also have windows and linux servers if needed.

I simply want to assign DRGs to my data set. So, I'm interested in information on how to do this and what product would be right. It'd also like to get something in house to to ensure that we can actually use it.


If you are not a programmer, then the way to do this would be with DRGFilt:
  1. Export your data as fixed-width text
  2. Create a DRGFilt control file to match your export
  3. Run your text file through DRGFilt
  4. Import the DRGFilt output
DRGFilt outputs all the input data, plus the DRG (and MDC and whatever else you configured), so you can import the DRGFilt and do whatever you like with it.

If you are a programmer, you can get an embeddable DRG Assignment product and call it from a program. Supported environments are Windows or most Unixoid systems. Supported runtime environments are Perl, Visual BASIC, PHP and C. A typical program will do the following:
  1. Select rows out of your database
  2. Process each row one at a time
  3. Extract the DAE inputs from the row
  4. Call the DAE
  5. Parse out the DAE outputs from the call
  6. Either update the original row or create a new row
Finally, if you do not want to do the work yourself, or do not want to deal with the version question (ie, which version DRGs do I use for this given record?) you can use our DRG Assignment Service (DAS) to do the work. In that case, the steps are these:
  1. Extract your data, without PHI
  2. Send us the extract, along with your preferences for the returned data set
  3. Usually in one, but sometimes in up to three business days, you get the data
  4. Import or process the data set returned by us

Friday, October 2, 2009

F27 Released

Our support for version 27 of the US Federal DRG assignment algorithm, active as of October 1st 2009, has just been released.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Java Support?


Do you support Java?


We have a Linux 32-bit and a Linux 64-bit implementation for Java which we built with SWIG, but we do not have it in our product catalog because we have never had anyone ask for it. We are confident that we could build a Java-callable module for most Unix systems if we ever find anyone who wants such a thing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ICD9 Look Up


Is there functionality to do a text search of the ICD-9 that would return the ICD-9 number?  Is there some sort of documentation of all the functions and sub procedures that come with the Drg dll and Icd-9 dll?

There is no text search support in our ICD9 handling; it is tool for labeling a given ICD9, not for choosing an ICD9.

There is scads of documentation on the procedures and how to call them. I have attached our manual here, though you should have received a copy with your order.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How to Use POA


As yoyu know, DRG versions 25 and up require the use of the Present On Admission (POA) indicator associated with ICD9 diagnosis codes for the grouping of DRGs. Your grouper software does support versions 25 and 26, but no where in your documentation do I find any reference to POAs and how they should be fed into the data file, or defined in the control file.

We need this information asap in order to ensure that the grouper is working correctly. Please email or call me at your earliest convenience.


Please find attached our most recent documentation, which has a healthy entry in the Index under POA.

I am not sure which of our products you are using, but POA should be supported across the product line. To quote the docs on POA support in general:

Note: as of version 26, released in 2008, the DRG version can have either
a 'p' or an 'e' or both appeneded to it. If there is a trailing 'p', it
is assumed that the last character of every diagnosis code is a POA flag.
If the there is a trailing 'e', then the source institution is presumed
to be exempt from the HAC. Thus "26p" specifies POA support, while "26"
does not. "25p" does not make sense.

To quote the glossary on POA:
In order to avoid paying for medical mistakes, diagnoses are now
flagged as having been present on admission (POA).

The values for the POA flag are not, as one might expect, simply
Y or N; rather the following options are defined:

-Y for Yes
-N for No
-U for Unspecified
-W for clinically undetermined
-1 for unreported / not used / exempt from reporting
To quote from Chapter 5, on our DRGFilt product:
The keyword "poa " specifies where, in the diagnosis code, to find the
POA flag. If the diagnosis code length (specified by dlx) is 8, it is
typical to find the POA flag at offset 7, that is to say the last character
of every code.

The keyword "exmp" specifies that the institution from which these data
come is exempt from the HAC.

Note that if neither of these keywords is present, the software assumes that
POA is irrelevant and that the source institution is to be treated as exempt
from the HAC.