DRGs in psychiatry: An empirical evaluation

Carl Taube, Eun Sul Lee, Ronald N. Forthofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


On October 1, 1983, Medicare began paying general hospitals by a prospective payment system based on DRGs. Psychiatric settings are exempted automatically or by request. By January 1985, however, a decision is required on how to integrate psychiatric settings into this system. This article provides an empirical analysis of the current DHHS DRGs categories for mental disorders. Current mental disorder DRGs and alternate DRGs examined here explain less than 3-12% of the variation in psychiatric length of stay. This is in contrast to 30-50% explained variation for other disorders. Alternatives and policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-610
Number of pages14
JournalMedical care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1984


  • Case mix
  • DRGs
  • Length of stay
  • Psychiatric prospective payment systems
  • Reimbursement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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