Data sources

The Authority worked with IHPA on the development of the report. Data outputs used for the report were prepared by IHPA using specifications that were developed between the two agencies, using data from the National Hospital Cost Data Collection (NHCDC) and the Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set (APC NMDS).

National Hospital Cost Data Collection

The NHCDC is a voluntary collection of public hospital costs, collected by financial year. It was established in 1996–97.

In 2011–12, 429 public hospitals submitted data to the NHCDC. These hospitals represent approximately 80% of the cost of Australian public hospitals.1 Of the 429 public hospitals, 124 were major and large hospitals.

Hospitals allocated their costs for 2011–12 to individual patient records according to the Australian Hospital Patient Costing Standards (AHPCS), version 2.0.1

For more information about the NHCDC see the National Hospital Cost Data Collection Australian Public Hospitals Report 2011–12.1

Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set

The APC NMDS 2011–12 has been used to count the number of same-day, multi-day and overnight separations to hospitals. Each separation for the purposes of this report represents an admission to hospital.

Admissions are then grouped according to the complexity of conditions and procedures, and individual patient characteristics, using the AR-DRG v7.0 for Cost per NWAU and v6.0x for Comparable Cost of Care.

For the purposes of calculating Comparable Cost of Care, emergency department (ED) cost data were matched with the individual admitted patient unit record by the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) using a record identifier field provided by state and territory governments.

For more information about the APC NMDS see the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) specification.

Hospitals included in the report

To ensure robust comparable results and protect the privacy of patients, hospitals were reported if the following criteria were met:

  • A major or large metropolitan or major regional non-specialist public hospital where data were available in the NHCDC for at least two fiscal years
  • The presence of an ED
  • More than 90% of patient unit records from the APC NMDS were matched to cost data.

Results were suppressed for a hospital in cases where anomalies were identified following triangulation analysis of cost data between different data sets. This affected only one hospital.

Two hospitals (one major and one large) were excluded as they were identified as not having an emergency department, and therefore did not submit data to the National Non-Admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database (NAPEDCD).

The result of these inclusion and exclusion criteria is that the report includes data for more than 80 major and large public hospitals for 2011–12.

Data outputs used in this report were supplied to the Authority by IHPA on 18 and 28 October 2014.