To the Editor: Hsia et al. (Feb. 11 issue)* have made a serious accusation in claiming to have uncovered “evidence of a systematic trend” of errors in coding diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) that result in overpayments to hospitals. This claim rests on the assumption that random coding errors would result in overpayment 50 percent of the time. This assumption is fallacious a priori and would require a detailed analysis of the distribution of DRGs to support it. Consider a discharge for which the correct DRG happens to be at the 40th percentile in a list of DRGs ordered according to relative.
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