Wiki Is there a non-3M way to group APR-DRGs?


Washington DC, DC
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I need to assign APR-DRGs so that I can calculate state Medicaid reimbursement for some hypothetical patient cases, but I don't have access to the 3M encoder (which costs tens of thousands of dollars). Is there another way to accomplish this?
I believe that the APR-DRG methodology is copyrighted by 3M so you would not (legally) be able to use it without some kind of license arrangement with the owner. However, it shouldn't be necessary to purchase the entire 3M encoder to get access to just the APR-DRG grouper. 3M offers other software packages (such as a specific grouper program) that might meet your needs and be more affordable - have you tried contacting them to see? Alternatively, if you are doing this work for a provider or payer, then your employer's (or client's) system may already have the grouper available (which you could use to set up test claims for your cases) and/or be able to load the grouper to their system as an add-on for the period of time that you need it.