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Productive relationships and regular communication with our stakeholders and partners supports us to improve the transparency of funding for public hospital services.

This year, we implemented and further refined our Strategic Stakeholder Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Framework. The Framework was designed to support us in adopting a simple and proactive approach to effectively communicate and engage with our wide range of stakeholders in a timely and effective manner.

Our tiered approach to communication and engagement aims to consider the environment each stakeholder operates in, as well as their resources, needs, and preferences.

We undertook a stakeholder survey in late 2019-20 to benchmark our progress on implementing improvements across five key themes in 2019-20:

  • Organisational culture;
  • Customer service and value adding;
  • Collaboration;
  • Transparency; and
  • High performing team.

In order to establish a baseline for measuring improvements over time, our stakeholders were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with the NHFB's communication and engagement on a scale from 1-5. The average rating was 4.25, indicating high levels of satisfaction with the NHFB.

The survey identified areas we had improved on since 2018-19, such as:

  • the positivity and responsiveness of NHFB staff, including their ability to clarify and resolve technical issues; and
  • collaboration through the co-design of the new Payments System.

The survey also provided insights into focus areas for 2020-21 including:

  • further building on the public hospital funding narrative through the use of case studies as well as dedicated workshops on key topics;
  • targeted engagement with jurisdictions on the development of the Administrator’s policy documents; and
  • establishing a Payments System User Group.

Stakeholders and Partners  - The Commonwealth - States and Territories - Portfolio Agencies; and - Industry partners


Early and impartial engagement with all stakeholders, especially States, Territories and the Commonwealth, allows time to discuss and resolve issues in a collaborative manner. The Administrator’s Jurisdictional Advisory Committee (JAC) is a key channel for this engagement and is comprised of senior representatives of all States and Territories and relevant Commonwealth departments and portfolio agencies. The objectives of the Administrator’s JAC are to:

  • consider and provide advice to the Administrator on strategic issues related to the Administrator’s functions under the NHR Agreement and NHR Act; and
  • enable collaboration between the Administrator, NHFB, Commonwealth, State and Territory health departments and IHPA on the relevant operational arrangements and priorities under the NHR Agreement and NHR Act.

The JAC met six times in 2019-20:

  • 17 July 2019;
  • 26 September 2019;
  • 26 November 2019;
  • 5 March 2020;
  • 12 May 2020 (COVID-19 specific); and
  • 12 June 2020.

Key discussion topics at the Administrator’s JAC in 2019-20 included:

  • the 2020–21 to 2024–25 Addendum to the NHR Agreement;
  • Administrator’s policy documents;
  • 2018-19 Annual Reconciliation of public
  • hospital funding and services;
  • National Partnership on COVID-19 Response;
  • Data matching; and
  • Payments System administration.


In addition to the Administrator’s JAC, the Administrator and CEO undertook a series of rolling bilateral discussions with States and Territories. These discussions provided the opportunity for early engagement on:

  • Funding and activity reconciliation;
  • Data integrity; and
  • Data matching.


In 2019-20, we continued to be supported by, and work with our Commonwealth stakeholders through a range of formal and informal arrangements, including:

  • the provision of shared services (e.g. payroll and IT desktop) from the Department of Health;
  • Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) technical support from the Department of Health;
  • the provision of public hospital activity data from Services Australia;
  • website hosting with GovCMS from Department of Finance; and
  • monthly roundtables with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, The Treasury, the Department of Finance and the Department of Health on NHR Agreement funding and activities.


We worked with our fellow portfolio agency partners to support the Administrator to provide trusted and impartial advice to all stakeholders and deliver best practice administration of public hospital funding. These agencies include the IHPA, the ACSQHC and the AIHW.


The main functions of the IHPA are to determine each year the National Efficient Price (NEP) for Activity Based funding (ABF) and National Efficient Cost (NEC) for Block funding for health care services provided by public hospitals. The NEP is a major determinant of the level of Australian Government funding for public hospital services and provides a benchmark for the efficient cost of providing public hospital services. As such, we routinely engage with the IHPA, including as a member of IHPA’s Jurisdictional Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee.

“COVID-19 has accelerated collaboration with our stakeholders reducing costs and distance barriers through digital collaboration"


The ACSQHC leads and coordinates key improvements in safety and quality in health care. The Commission works in four key priority areas:

  • Patient safety;
  • Partnering with patients, consumers and communities;
  • Quality, cost and value; and
  • Supporting health professionals to provide care that is informed, supported and organised to deliver safe and high-quality care.

With the Administrator and IHPA, we work with ACSQHC on the integration of safety and quality measures into public hospital funding.


The AIHW develops, collects, compiles, analyses, manages and disseminates Australian health and welfare data information. We collaborate with the AIHW on public hospital funding related matters via a number committees including a monthly roundtable on public hospital expenditure, the Strategic Committee for National Health Information; the National Hospitals Information Advisory Committee; and the Health Expenditure Advisory Committee.


In 2019-20, we worked with a number of industry partners to support our small agency deliver on our objectives. We leveraged their expertise, were supported by their advice and relied on their independence. Throughout this process, we actively promoted knowledge sharing with our people to continue to build our internal capability.

Industry partners that assisted the NHFB in 2019-20 were:

  • CALCULATE Taylor Fry, PwC and EY
  • PAY TechOne, Synergy, Projects Delivered, CTA Partners and Sentinel Software
  • REPORT Oxide Interactive
  • ORGANISATION Kirribilli Partners and contentgroup