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

edited April 28 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 4
    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 . 
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