National Hospital Cost Data Collection cycle

Each year, the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority
undertakes the National Hospital Cost Data Collection. Whether patients receive care through
an emergency department, outpatient clinic or an admission to
hospital, all of the care provided is recorded. This plays a key role in
calculating the cost of public hospital services and encourages best practice across the
healthcare system. But how do we actually do that? This is Alice she’s about to have a hip
replacement. By collecting her data accurately we can help to calculate future hospital
funding across Australia enabling health departments to manage
resources more effectively and improving services for patients like
Alice. From the moment she arrives in hospital
data is recorded about the care Alice receives. It keeps on coming right up until she’s discharged and
every last bit is recorded into the hospital’s patient administration system. The accuracy and completeness of the
data plays a crucial part in calculating costs. Health information managers and clinical
coders at the hospital begin classifying the data that’s been
recorded, separating the diagnosis information from the procedural. This data is
entered into an electronic grouper system assigning each patient a diagnosis related
group. This is used by the hospital’s costing
team to calculate the true cost of Alice’s stay. Everything is taken into consideration
from medicines and tests, through to catering and linen. This process
accounts for all expenses incurred by the hospital including salaries and wages paid to
doctors, nurses and hospital managers, enabling the
hospital to calculate the cost of Alice’s stay. The DRG code is matched with the actual
cost of Alice’s visit highlighting opportunities for improved
care. The information is then provided to the State or Territory Health
Department allowing them to assess patterns
or variations in the cost of care. This also enables them to
see whether costings standards are being applied consistently across all hospitals in their area. Every 12
months the states and territories pass this data to us – the Independent Hospital Pricing
Authority taking care to remove Alice’s personal details. Our role is to calculate the National Efficient
Price and the National Efficient Cost. The numbers go through our quality
assurance checks and independent reviews to improve
accuracy and ensure transparency which enables us to put together the
National Hospital Cost Data Collection This data set informs the National
Efficient Price and the National Efficient Cost of
hospital services over the next financial year. These
determine how much the Commonwealth Government contributes to local hospital
networks for services such as hip replacements
whilst the states and territories system managers determine their
contributions ensuring public hospitals are funded for
the services they provide.

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