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Australian Classification Exchange (ACE)

The Australian Classification Exchange (ACE) is an online portal managed by the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA), and through which registered users can make public submissions in relation to:

  • International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM)
  • Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI)
  • Australian Coding Standards (ACS)
  • Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRGs).

The public submissions process provides an avenue for users to propose changes to the ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS and AR-DRG classification systems when:

  • an existing code lacks specificity
  • an existing code assignment is outdated due to advances in medical knowledge
  • a disease, related health problem, or intervention is not currently classified (noting, however, that procedures must be sufficiently different – in terms of cost, site, technique, invasiveness, etc. – to warrant a separate description)
  • a typographical error or indexing anomaly is identified.
Status Definition
In Queue The submission has been successfully submitted.
In Progress The submission is being processed.
Held Over

The submission will be reconsidered in the next development cycle. This may be because:

  • there is insufficient time to complete the work in the current revision cycle
  • there are implications for other areas of the classification, and these should be considered simultaneously.
Consultation The submission has been referred for consultation to the International Classification of Diseases Technical Group (ITG), Diagnosis Related Groups Technical Group (DTG) and/or Classifications Clinical Advisory Group (CCAG).
Approved The submission has been processed, drafted and approved for inclusion.
Not Approved

The submission has not been accepted. Prior to lodging a submission, consideration should be given to the following:

  • Is the issue with the classification a result of data collection methods?
  • Is the recommendation only relevant to a unique situation?
  • Does the recommendation compromise the purpose or structure of the classification?
  • Does the recommendation overlap with any existing codes in the classification

The status definitions of public submissions. 

Whilst submissions can only be made by registered users, all submissions can be viewed by members of the public

Nominated state and territory representatives also have the authority to submit ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS coding queries via ACE. This process facilitates correct, relevant and nationally consistent assignment of ICD-10-AM and ACHI codes to episodes of care, as well as highlights any issues or anomalies in the classifications.

The query process requires clinical coders to follow these steps before submitting a query to their state or territory coding advisory committee representative:

If the query is unable to be resolved through this process, it may be sent to the relevant state or territory representative. These queries should include any supporting documents, references and clinical advice.

The coding advisory committees act as reference groups in each state and territory for clinical coders who request assistance on coding issues. These committees are responsible for responding to those coding queries. The following must be performed by the committee before submitting a query:

Determine if the query is significantly complex or of a difficult nature (that cannot be resolved at a local level) before submitting.

ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS coding queries should be directed to the state/territory nominated representative in the first instance.

The query response process includes:

  1. Reviewing the current edition of ICD-10-AM, ACHI and ACS, including any errata.
  2. Reviewing current classification advice (National Coding Rules) contained in ACE.
  3. Referencing other classifications, including other international classifications and those currently under development, such as ICD-11 and the International Classification of Health Interventions
  4. Referencing texts.
  5. Performing a webs search.
  6. Seeking clinical advice from the Classifications Clinical Advisory Group and where required, clinical speciality groups.
  7. Reviewing documentation pertaining to development of ICD-10-AM, ACHI and ACS.
  8. Where relevant, seeking international advice on issues of ICD-10 convention.
  9. Review by classification experts and expert advisors.
  10. Preparing a response.
  11. Publishing the query as part of national Coding Rules in ACE.
  12. Making amendments to ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS in a future edition, as required.

Coding queries, referred to as National Coding Rules in ACE, are generally published quarterly synchronously with the publication of errata to ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS. National Coding Rules should be implemented for separations from the first day of the following month. For example, national Coding Rules published on 15 June take effect for separations from 1 July. Episodes of care occurring prior to this should not be retrospectively recorded to implement the national Coding Rules.

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