Date published: 
25 August 2021
Type: 
PHI circular
PHI circular type: 
PHI announcement
Intended audience: 
Health sector

The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) has responsibility for the development and licensing of the following admitted care classification systems:

  • Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR‑DRGs)
  • International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification; Australian Classification of Health Interventions; Australian Coding Standards (ICD‑10‑AM/ACHI/ACS).

In 2020, IHPA conducted a review of the classification development cycles seeking feedback from a wide range of stakeholders including both public and private sector stakeholders. The review identified a number of opportunities for improvement including a move to extend the development cycle from two to three years to balance currency against stability and the burden of implementation associated with more frequent releases.

The revised development schedule is as follows:

Classification system

Classification release date

Proposed classification implementation date

ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS Twelfth Edition

Early 2022

1 July 2022

AR-DRG Version 11.0

July 2022

1 July 2023

In March 2019, PHI 18/19 Cessation of support for old AR-DRG versions published a timeline for phasing out support of old versions (V4.0, V4.1 and V4.2) due to the release of AR-DRG Version 10.0 in July 2019. This decision was made in consultation with private sector stakeholders and means that IHPA will not:

  • implement mapping fixes, or provide amended grouper specifications or grouper certification for old versions to adjust for coding changes that have a significant impact on DRG grouping
  • undertake impact analysis of coding or DRG changes on old versions
  • accept public or other submissions specific to an old version.
  • publish cost reports that contain old versions
  • provide grouper specifications for old versions to grouper vendors
  • provide manuals or publications for old versions.

Due to the extended development cycle from two to three years, the updated timeline for phasing out old AR-DRG versions is as follows:

AR-DRG version

Phase out date

Most current
AR-DRG version

Versions 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 6.0, 6.X and 7.0

1 July 2022

Version 11.0

Irrespective of the timeline for phasing out old AR-DRG versions, IHPA recommends all new agreements between hospitals and insurers use the most recent AR-DRG version where published cost reports are available. At the time of publication, this is AR-DRG V10.0. Please direct any enquiries to Anne Elsworthy, Director, Acute Care Classifications, Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (anne.elsworthy [at] ihpa.gov.au).