Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) have been introduced in Swiss in-patient hospitals in 2012, based on a revision of the Swiss Health Insurance Law (KVG) in 2007. Although a broad discussion on how to ethically allocate scarce health care resources has been ongoing for decades, the implementation of cost-containment structures like DRGs has remained controversial.
Issues such as compromised quality of patient care, less equitable access to health care services, shifting delivery of health care to inadequately prepared institutions such as nursing homes, and decreasing job satisfaction among nurses and physicians are elements of concern following the introduction of DRGs. Yet, there has been whether a systematic scientific evaluation nor the development of comprehensive evaluation and monitoring tools that address medically, ethically and legally relevant aspects following the implementation of DRGs.
The aim of this research group is to bridge this gap. The group brings together expertise in the areas of medical ethics, law, nursing science, health services research and – through its network of consulting experts – health economics, policy-making and management. The Institute of Biomedical Ethics, University of Zurich will coordinate five subprojects (Medical Ethics, Law, Nursing Science, Health Services Research I and II) applying qualitative as well as quantitative research methods alike. Regular meetings and workshops will be held to achieve the optimal cooperation between subgroups, external experts and stakeholders.