Missing millions: territory grapples with non-admitted patient data

According to ACT Health, there are difficulties with capturing reliable data about non-admitted patient services in lots of places. It’s only about 1% of the territory’s total federal health funding, but it’s still $3 million they could have had.

ACT auditor-general Dr Maxine Cooper has taken a look at data integrity in the territory’s Health Directorate, and found errors that could have left $2-3 million in federal health funding unclaimed.

Cooper found the integrity of activity-based funding data reported by ACT Health to the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority for admitted patients and emergency department presentations was “adequate”.

The problems were with the non-admitted patient data, it seems, which the directorate hopes to fix before its next IHPA submission in September, so the ACT gets all the funding it is entitled to. According to the directorate, there are difficulties with accurately capturing it all in other parts of the country, too.

Cooper acknowledges the directorate has made “considerable effort” and improved governance around data integrity since she published a report on emergency department performance in 2012:

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