Emergency care classification, costing and funding

NSW Health, 2011

The NSW Department of Health (now the Ministry of Health) engaged Health Policy Analysis to undertake a project to advance the process through which activity for emergency departments (EDs) is classified, counted, costed and funded, in preparation for activity based funding.

The project involved an extensive review of classification systems used for ED diagnosis by different hospitals across the states, a review of the costing approaches and recommendations for more accurate methods of allocating direct costs to ED patients in particular, modelling of cost weights and identification of key issues NSW Health should consider through the 2011-12 period as it prepared for implementation of a national approach to activity based funding from July 2012.

The recommendations from this project are being progressively implemented by the Ministry to improve approaches to classifying, costing and funding ED activity within NSW, and also in negotiations with the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority in the development of national cost weights for ED and a nationally efficient price.