OUR ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2013–14

Major milestones

NHFB permanent recruitment round commences July-October 2013
Completion of inaugural appointments for permanent staff. Final staff member from the permanent recruitment round arrived 28 October 2013
First reconciliation (for six–month period July to December 2012) of estimates to actuals undertaken Adjustments made in the October to December 2013 Payments
Inaugural NHFB Annual Report tabled out–of–session 31 October 2013
NHFB website went live 1 November 2013
Functionality enhancement of the National Health Funding Administrator Payments System December 2013
2012-13 Annual reconciliation of estimates to actuals Adjustments made in the March to May 2014 payments
Functionality enhancement of the National Health Funding Administrator Payments System April 2014
Revised Determination under Section 24.1 of the Public Service Act 1999 – Terms and Conditions of employment approved 8 May 2014
2014-15 Portfolio Budget Statement and performance measures fore the NHFB 15 May 2014
Functionality enhancement of the National Health Funding Administrator Payments Systems June 2014
Development of the Commonwealth contribution model for 2014-15 including governance and assurance Feb-June 2014
NHFB two years in operation from its inception on 1 July 2012 30 June 2014

Two years in operation

In 2013–14 the NHFB consolidated the achievements of the previous year. Significant progress was made in implementing the operational arrangements of the Administrator and the organisational infrastructure of the NHFB.

This year saw the first determination of public hospital funding by the Commonwealth Treasurer based on the advice of the Administrator—the 2012–13 determination subsequent to the Final Budget Outcome (FBO).

The initial permanent recruitment round was completed, and on 28 October 2013 the final appointee from the round arrived to work at the NHFB.

Our first six–month and annual reconciliation of service estimates and actual activity—in relation to 2012–13 data—were successfully completed in October 2013 and March 2014, respectively.

Functionality upgrades of the National Health Funding Administrator Payments System (Payments System) were undertaken in December 2013 (cross border processing), April 2014 (bulk payment instructions and state deposit advices) and June 2014 (funds return).

The NHFB website was launched in November 2013 and provided a new communications channel for our stakeholders and the general public. The website also enables us to meet our obligations with regard to Senate Order reporting and Freedom of Information requests. The NHFB website is available at www.nhfb.gov.au.

The NHFB website had 9,378 page views in the period from its release until 30 June 2014. The NHFB Strategic Plan 2013–16 was downloaded 598 times.

In order to ensure that the NHFB had in place a current determination covering conditions of employment, a Determination under Section 24 (1) of the Public Service Act 1999 was put in place which will remain in force until an Enterprise Agreement commences. No terms, conditions or salaries were varied in this update.

The NHFB continued to work steadily on the content and layout of the Administrator’s Public Hospital Funding website, found at www.publichospitalfunding.gov.au.

The Public Hospital Funding website had 63,771 page views in 2013–14. Monthly reports for local hospital networks (LHNs) were the most frequently viewed pages.

Figure 3: NHFB payments timeline

NHFB_fig3

Go to footnote 3 Go to footnote 4
  • From the implementation of national health reform funding arrangements the NHFB have worked diligently to ensure the transparent and independent calculation of Commonwealth public hospital funding.
  • The calculation process in the transition period, covering 2012–13 and 2013–14, provided a strong assurance foundation for all calculation processes, including internal and external assurance, ongoing collaboration with stakeholders and development of a robust methodology.
  • This work over the transition period will provide the foundation of funding calculation to occur from 2014–15 onwards. The development of transparent policy and calculation principles for the future periods was a strong focus of the NHFB in 2013–14.

3 Mid–Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. This is a mid–year budget report that provides updated information on the Government’s fiscal position.

4 The Final Budget Outcome (FBO) is a report produced no later than three months after the end of financial year and describes Australian Government fiscal outcomes for the preceding financial year. The Administrator’s 2012–13 reconciliation outcomes and adjustment of contributions in March, April and May 2014 was based on the FBO and actual hospital service volumes.

Change in Funding Calculation 2013–14

The 2013–14 calculation of the Commonwealth contribution to public hospital funding differed from 2012–13 due to:

  1. the requirement that the Administrator calculate the Commonwealth block funding component (agreed between Commonwealth and state/territory Ministers in 2012–13); and
  2. the broader scope of activity funding services in 2013–14, due to the inclusion of the sub–acute and admitted mental health classifications.

Major publications

NHFB_ar

Our inaugural Annual Report, and the inaugural Annual Report of the Administrator were tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament in October 2013 and circulated to all Health Ministers.

The NHFB continued to work closely with stakeholders from the Commonwealth, states and territories to implement national health funding arrangements.

A suite of documents were produced on behalf of the Administrator and widely reviewed through the NHFB and Administrator’s jurisdictional committees.

The Administrator’s Three Year Data Plan 2014–15 to 2016–17 sets out the Administrator’s determination of the minimum level of data required from jurisdictions.

The content and layout of the plan was aligned with those of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) and the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA).

The technical detail for the supply of this data is found in the Data Plan File Specifications.

The 2012–13 Reconciliation Framework details reconciliation of actual to estimated activity and adjustment requirements and guidelines for those public hospital functions funded by the Commonwealth on an activity basis.

The Data Privacy, Secrecy and Security Policy describes the NHFB and Administrator’s data protocols relating to the collection, use, storage, disclosure and destruction of data. This policy was updated to reflect the provisions of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012.

Growth and Funding Guarantees sets out the approach and process for calculating the growth and funding guarantee arrangements of the Agreement.

The NHFB provided a series of 14 briefings and a feedback roadshow across all Australian jurisdictions during the development phase of the Growth and Funding Guarantees document.

Business Rules for determining hospital services eligible for Commonwealth Funding — Volume 2: Proof of Concept provides stakeholders with a detailed description of data matching rules to support clause A6 of the Agreement.5

The Data Compliance Policy is the Administrator’s policy for publishing details of Commonwealth, state/territory compliance with the data requirements of the Administrator’s Data Plan.

Linked to the policy are the quarterly Compliance Reports that detail information on jurisdictional compliance with the Data Plan.

5 Clauses A6 and A7 of the Agreement state that the Commonwealth will not fund patient services through the Agreement if the same service is funded through the MBS or the PBS.

Documents developed on behalf of the Administrator
2013-14 Data Plan File Specifications 22 July 2013
2012-13 Reconciliation Framework 30 July 2013
Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool: Annual Report 30 October 2013
Data Compliance Policy 29 November 2013
Data Privacy, Secrecy and Security Policy 3 December 2013
Business Rules for determining hospital services eligible for Commonwealth Funding-Volume 2: Proof of Concept 18 December 2013
September quarter Compliance Report 19 December 2013
December quarter Compliance Report 25 February 2014
Data Plan 2014-15 to 2016-17 25 February 2014
Data Plan 2014-15 to 2016-17 14 March 2014
Growth and Funding Guarantees 14 March 2014
March quarter Compliance Report 28 May 2014

Monthly reports

In 2013–14 the NHFB produced a total of 1824 monthly reports for the Administrator.

Each month a National report and a state report for each state and territory and a report for each LHN are produced.

Section 240 of the National Health Reform Act 2011 requires that the Administrator provide monthly reports to the Commonwealth and each state and territory and make them publicly available. The reports must contain:

  1. the amounts paid into each State Pool Account and state managed fund by the relevant State and the basis on which the payments were made;
  2. the amounts paid into each State Pool Account by the Commonwealth and the basis on which the payments were made;
  3. the amounts paid from each State Pool Account to local hospital networks, a state managed fund or other organisations or funds and the basis on which the payments were made;
  4. the amounts paid from each state managed fund to local hospital networks or other organisations or funds and the basis on which the payments were made;
  5. the number of public hospital services funded for each local hospital network (including as a running financial year total) in accordance with the system of activity based funding; and
  6. the number of other public hospital services and functions funded from each State Pool Account or State Managed Fund (including a running financial year total).

Table 4 shows the release dates for the Administrator’s monthly reports published in 2013–14.

Table 4: Monthly Report Publication Dates for 2013–14

Month

Date released

May 2013

10 July 2013

June 2013

28 August 2013

July 2013

30 October 2013

August 2013

13 November 2013

September 2013

5 December 2013

October 2013

30 January 2014

November 2013

20 February 2014

December 2013

January 2014

28 March 2014

February 2014

March 2014

7 May 2014

April 2014

5 June 2014

The Administrator’s monthly reports are available from: www.publichospitalfunding.gov.au/reports.

NHFB future priorities

The foundation of the NHFB’s role is supporting the obligations and responsibilities of the Administrator and providing transparent and efficient administration of Commonwealth, state/territory funding of the Australian public hospital system.

Our future priorities reflect our objectives and our role:

  • Maintain rigour and discipline in undertaking transactions into and out of the National Health Funding Pool—the NHFB will continue to effectively manage the largest financial contribution to Australia’s public health system.
  • Continue to use best–practice accounting standards in our work—the NHFB will continue to maintain robust financial frameworks.
  • Further develop the calculation of the Commonwealth contribution to Commonwealth public hospital funding—the NHFB built significant expertise in the development of the Commonwealth Contribution Model for 2013–14 and will use this expertise in the development of Commonwealth Contribution Models for future years.
  • Achieving an Enterprise Agreement—the NHFB has begun to develop an Enterprise Agreement in line with the requirements of the Australian Public Service Bargaining Framework 2014. The NHFB will continue to operate as a fully functional and compliant agency in 2014–15.
  • Progressing data matching—the NHFB will continue to refine data matching processes and work towards the implementation of matching hospital activity data and MBS/PBS data to support clause A6 of the Agreement.
  • Contribute to strategic national work on health data standards, collection, access and usage—through national committees and working groups such as the National Health Information and Performance Principal Committee (NHIPPC) and its subcommittee the National Health Information Standards and Statistics Committee (NHISSC).
  • Further collaborate with stakeholders—the NHFB values the collaborative relationships built with stakeholders and will endeavour to maintain and strengthen these relationships.

Report on performance

The NHFB Agency Budget Statement for 2013–14 included outcomes, objectives, deliverables and key performance indicators.

The NHFB’s outcome is:Provide transparent and efficient administration of Commonwealth, state and territory funding of the Australian public hospital system, and support the obligations and responsibilities of the Administrator.

Table 5 describes our performance outcomes.

Table 5: NHFB outcomes against the 2013–14 Portfolio Budget Statement

Qualitative Deliverable

Performance Outcome

Develop the Three Year Data Plan

Determine minimum level of data required to calculate the Commonwealth’s contribution, conduct reconciliation activities and ensure national comparability under the Agreement.

The 2014–15 to 2016–17 Data Plan was provided for finalisation to the Standing Council on Health on 11 April 2014.

The layout and structure of plan was harmonised with those of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and the National Health Performance Authority.

Quantitative Deliverable

Performance Outcome

Maintain proper records and reporting in relation to the administration of the National Health Funding Pool, including records of all payments made to and from those accounts and the basis on which the payment were made

Monthly publication and verification from the states and territories in relation to the operations of the National Health Funding Pool and state managed funds.

Payments for hospital services through the National Health Funding Pool were overseen and authorised. Appropriate protocols and procedures are in place to manage payments.

All payments made in accordance with authorised documentation at the direction of Ministers and/or their delegates.

Monthly verification of transactions through the National Health Funding Pool and state managed funds provided via monthly reporting data submissions received from all states and territories.

Quantitative Deliverable

Performance Outcome

Annual report of the National Health Funding Pool to the Commonwealth and each state and territory government

Produce and table a single annual report and accompanying financial statement on the operation of the National Health Funding Pool in the Commonwealth Parliament and each state and territory parliament.

The financial statement will combine the audited financial statements for each state pool account within the National Health Funding Pool.

The 2012–13 Annual Report for the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool was submitted to all Australian Health Ministers for tabling and is available from: www.publichospitalfunding.gov.au/publications/annual–reports.

Financial Statements were prepared for each State Pool Account and were audited by the relevant Auditor–General.

Publicly reporting on the operations of the state managed funds and National Health Funding Pool

Produce monthly reports on the operation of the National Health Funding Pool and state managed funds.

Monthly reports were produced and published for all months of 2013–14.

1824 monthly reports were produced in total for 2013–14, including National reports, a report for each state and territory and a report for each LHN, for each month.

The Administrator’s monthly reports are available from: www.publichospitalfunding.gov.au/reports.

Quantitative Deliverable

Performance Outcome

Calculate the Commonwealth contribution to the National Health Funding Pool

2013–14 provided a baseline for which the Commonwealth will provide efficient growth funding for hospitals to 45% in 2014–15.

2013–14 and 2014–15 Commonwealth Contribution Models were developed and presented to stakeholders and used by the Administrator to calculate the Commonwealth funding contribution for each state and territory.

The Administrator advised the Commonwealth Treasurer and state and territory Health Ministers of the Commonwealth funding calculation amounts throughout the year.

All funding and payment transactions were effectively monitored and managed.

Quantitative Deliverable

Performance Outcome

Oversee and authorise all payments for public hospital services through the National Health Funding Pool

Improvements within the payments system allow the NHFB, states and territories greater flexibility in managing payments.

During 2013–14 three upgrade releases of the payments and banking systems were made:

December 2013 improved nominated banking arrangements for third party registrations, functionality enhancements to cross border funding transfers and the RBAnet dashboard.

April 2014 improved functionality for third party and LHN payment instructions and state deposit advices for state activity based funding contributions.

June 2014 new functionality to enable jurisdictions to transfer funds back to the Commonwealth to re–coup excess activity based funding or top–up payments, and enhanced control checks for payment instructions.

Quantitative Deliverable

Performance Outcome

Percentage of payments made in accordance with directions from the responsible state or territory Minister

2013–14 Budget Target: 100%

100%

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