Using the DRG Expert reference to identify DRG, MCC, CC

edited April 2018 in Certification


  •   Test   

  • How many facilities still use the DRG Expert when training a new CDI specialist? or have we gone completely encoder dependent? If you are a CDI specialist preparing for the CCDS exam are you finding using the book to be a daunting task? I would love to know what you find helpful and not so helpful when learning how to use the DRG Expert
  • We have not purchased the DRG expert for years as we use software for DRG assignments.  As such, I do believe anyone testing for the CCDS exam would need to buy this book and practice with manual assignments prior to testing.  Frankly,  the book can be cumbersome to apply.  
  • With the ever expanding code set I can see where many would find it cumbersome but hopefully with the right teacher they find it easier to navigate. I don't think we will ever see one volume again.

    thanks for your input, have a great weekend Paul

  • Yes:  the proliferation of characters with ICD-10 and PCS has made manual assignment of DRGs more complex.  I do understand that we need to use the book to manually assign some DRGs during testing for the CCDS, and I encourage those that will test to practice this prior to sitting for the exam.  


  • edited May 2018
    We have a copy of the DRG Expert in our office; however, we are a children's hospital with a majority of APR payors so we do not use it. 

    I do, however, review it with colleagues who are preparing to take the CCDS examination!!
  • I encourage new CDIs to learn the process using the book. (much like a new coder should learn how to use the code books before using an encoder) A grouper program "hides" the logic. You press a button and you have the right answer. (or maybe you have the right answer). If you are a hands on learner - the DRG Expert allows you to literally walk through the process and see how the logic is applied. It promotes critical thinking. I think this allows the CDI the skills to better identify ways to move a DRG or affect DRG assignment. The book is also a great teaching tool for providers. (I don't teach them how to use the book- but will compare DRGs, length of stay and relative weights for them). if you attend any of our bootcamps we utilize DRG Expert images throughout the class . 
  •   I have a 2015 DRG Expert that is still ICD 9 codes. I may be able to borrow a 2016 DRG Expert.  My question is, if the 2016 is ICD 10, will that do what I need for the test or is it important to bring a newer edition?  Thanks in advance
  • If you could borrow or buy a used newer version of the DRG Expert I would recommend it for the exam. any changes made to the book over the years are listed on the website with the biggest changes to the CC/MCC list usually found in the back of the book. Remember you can write any changes directly in the book, you can not bring in loose papers with you to take the exam.
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