Diagnosis-Related Groups in Europe: Towards Efficiency and Quality

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Welcome to the EuroDRG webpage

EuroDRG was a research project from 2009 to 2011 funded by the European Commission within the 7th framework programme.
This website is managed by the Department of Health Care Management of the Berlin University of Technology. It will be updated regularly and incorporate also results from other research projects to provide most recent information about DRGs and hospital payment systems across Europe.

The EuroDRG project formed a team of researchers from twelve European countries (Austria, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden). They analysed the national DRG-based hospital payment systems by using qualitative and quantitavie research methods. Beyond the project, the EuroDRG team still collaborates in ongoning research and upcoming publications. In addition to the countries mentioned above, Denmark, Hungary and Italy were analysed within the HealthBASKET project which was the forerunner of the EuroDRG collaboration.

DRGs in Europe
Within the framework of the EuroDRG project each of the country specific DRG-based systems was analysed in a structured and comparative way. In addition literature reviews and overview articles on the most important DRG topics were conducted. Both, the country reports and overview articles were published in the book: Diagnosis-Related Groups in Europe: Moving towards transparency, efficiency and quality in hospitals

Episodes of care
In order to analyse the DRG systems in depth and to make international comparisions possible, the EuroDRG team designed ten episodes of care (EoCs): Acute myocardial infarction (AMI), Appendectomy, Breast cancer surgery, Childbirth, Cholecystectomy, Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), Inguinal hernia surgery, Hip replacement, Knee replacement and Stroke. The EoCs are uniformly defined across countries through diagnosis and/or procedure codes and can be understood as ‘meta-DRGs’ which encompass varying numbers of actual DRGs within countries.

Patient classification
The analysis of the national DRG systems was twofold for each EoC: Firstly, We looked at the specific classification variables used by the 12 DRG systems (e.g., diagnosis, procedure, age, length-of-stay, death), the number of different DRGs and the resulting reimbursement for seven homogeneously defined patients per EoC across countries. The results are published so far for 7 out of 10 EoCs in medical journals.

DRG system performance
Secondly, we evaluated the ability of the DRG systems to explain variation in resource consumption among patients and across hospitals for the ten episodes of care. The results were published in a supplement Diagnosis-Related Groups in Europe (EuroDRG): Do they explain variation in hospital costs and length of stay across patients and hospitals? in Helth Economics.

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