BioScience Trends. 2024;18(1):1-10. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01027)

Comparison of diagnosis-related groups (DRG)-based hospital payment system design and implementation strategies in different countries: The case of ischemic stroke

Liu Y, Wang G, Qin TG, Kobayashi S, Karako T, Song PP


Diagnosis-related groups (DRG) based hospital payment systems are gradually becoming the main mechanism for reimbursement of acute inpatient care. We reviewed the existing literature to ascertain the global use of DRG-based hospital payment systems, compared the similarities and differences of original DRG versions in ten countries, and used ischemic stroke as an example to ascertain the design and implementation strategies for various DRG systems. The current challenges with and direction for the development of DRG-based hospital payment systems are also analyzed. We found that the DRG systems vary greatly in countries in terms of their purpose, grouping, coding, and payment mechanisms although based on the same classification concept and that they have tended to develop differently in countries with different income classifications. In high-income countries, DRG-based hospital payment systems have gradually begun to weaken as a mainstream payment method, while in middle-income countries DRG-based hospital payment systems have attracted increasing attention and increased use. The example of ischemic stroke provides suggestions for mutual promotion of DRG-based hospital payment systems and disease management. How to determine the level of DRG payment incentives and improve system flexibility, balance payment goals and disease management goals, and integrate development with other payment methods are areas for future research on DRGbased hospital payment systems.

KEYWORDS: diagnosis-related groups, payment system, hospitals, stroke

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