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PERFORMANCE IN 2019–20

Relationship between 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements, 2019–20 Corporate Plan and 2019–20 Performance Statement Showing the Outcome and Program objectives and associated performance criteria under our Portfolio Budget Statements for 2019-20 aligning with our Corporate Plan for 2019-20 Objectives and the 2019-20 Performance Statement.

OBJECTIVE ONE Accurate and timely calculation of Commonwealth funding contributions

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Analysis of performance in 2019-20

We continue to achieve our purpose through improving the accuracy and timeliness of Commonwealth funding contribution calculations. This work supports the advice provided by the Administrator to the Commonwealth Treasurer, and in 2019-20, included calculations for both Commonwealth NHR Funding and the National Partnership on COVID-19 Response (NCPR).

We calculated Commonwealth funding contributions and provided advice to the Administrator, and Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments throughout 2019-20, including:

  • Five updates to the 2019-20 payment advice resulting in total funding of $22.561 billion;
  • Completion of 2018-19 Six-month and Annual Reconciliation outcomes ($50 million and $183 million respectively); and
  • Initial estimate of 2020-21 Commonwealth NHR funding of $23.607 billion.

We provided independent, expert advice to the Administrator, and Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments on the implementation of:

  • The National Partnership on COVID-19 Response (NPCR), including $2.955 billion of Commonwealth funding in 2019-20; and
  • The 2020-25 Addendum to the NHR Agreement, including applying enhancements to the SAS Commonwealth Contribution Model (CCM) to support the introduction of a single Commonwealth

Contribution Rate (CCR).

We focused on greater transparency, integrity and assurance of payments for public hospital services through progressing data matching activities in preparation for sharing 2017-18 and 2018-19 data with jurisdictions in July 2020.

YEAR AHEAD (2020-21):
  • Undertake 2020-21 funding calculations
  • Implement enhancements to the CCM to incorporate the new Addendum
  • Finalise 2019-20 Annual Reconciliation (including National Partnership on COVID-19 Response)
  • Finalise 2020-21 Six-month Reconciliation
  • Provide a final report on data matching activities, including recommendations for implementation
  • Work with the Administrator, ACSQHC and IHPA on incorporating additional safety and quality measures into public hospital funding, including for potentially preventable hospitalisations and avoidable readmissions
  • Work with the IHPA to implement pricing parity for public and private patients in public hospitals

The Treasurer of the Commonwealth is advised by the Administrator in a timely manner

Performance criteria 1.1 (Corporate Plan) and PBS 2019-20 page 342

2019-20 TARGET

100% of the advice regarding the amounts required to be paid into each State (and Territory) Pool Account is provided to the Treasurer in a timely manner.

ANALYSIS

The Administrator signed-off on, and provided five sets of payment advice to the Commonwealth Treasurer:

  • July 2019 payment advice ($22.125 billion) was provided on 28 June 2019.
  • September 2019 payment advice ($22.194 billion) was provided on 29 August 2019.
  • March 2020 payment advice ($22.243 billion) was provided on 27 February 2020.
  • April 2020 payment advice ($22.573 billion) was provided on 26 March 2020.
  • June 2020 payment advice ($22.561 billion) was provided on 28 May 2020.

This advice was also provided to all Health Ministers and State and Territory health department CFOs on the same day.

RESULT

Met.

Commonwealth funding calculations are accurate

Performance criteria 1.2 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

100% of current and future year Commonwealth Contribution Models (CCMs) are accepted by the Administrator

ANALYSIS

The initial CCM for 2019-20 was approved and underpinned the Administrator’s July 2019 payment advice. This advice included the initial calculation of the Commonwealth’s contribution to public hospital funding in 2019-20 of $22.125 billion which was subsequently updated throughout the financial year (refer to payment advice above).

RESULT

Met.

Funding entitlements reconcile to actual services delivered

Performance criteria 1.3 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

Half-yearly and annual adjustments made to Commonwealth payments to LHNs due to reconciliation are accepted by the Administrator.

ANALYSIS

There were two major funding adjustments in 2019-20 accepted and advised by the Administrator to the Commonwealth Treasurer including:

  • Six-month Reconciliation for 2018-19 (additional $50 million); and
  • Annual Reconciliation for 2018-19 (additional $183 million).

The 2018-19 Annual Reconciliation preliminary results were provided to the Commonwealth, States and Territories in November 2019 ahead of the Administrator’s advice to the Commonwealth Treasurer in March 2020. Final payments were processed in quarter 4 of 2019-20. This is the second year in a row that this timeframe has been achieved.

RESULT

Met.

Public hospital services are funded through the appropriate Commonwealth program

Performance criteria 1.4 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

Progress initiative relating to the integrity analysis of hospital activity and other Commonwealth program (such as MBS and PBS) activity to identify instances where the same hospital service has been funded more than once.

ANALYSIS

The NHFB commenced sharing linked data sets, along with the Public Interest Certificate (PIC) and Statement of Assurance for MBS data with jurisdictions on 7 June 2019.

A progress report was provided to the COAG Health Council in November 2019 that noted linked data sets had been shared with all jurisdictions for the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years.

A PIC was provided by the Commonwealth Department of Health on 4 June 2020, which covered the provision of MBS data for 2017-18 and 2018-19 on 10 June 2020 and subsequent sharing of linked data sets in July 2020.

The NHFB will be providing a progress report to Government in late 2020 detailing the application of draft business rules to 2017-18 and 2018-19 data along with recommendations for implementation in future years.

RESULT

Met.

CASE STUDY

SAS COMMONWEALTH CONTRIBUTION MODEL
WHAT IS IT?

Commonwealth funding for ABF, Block, and Public Health is calculated using the Commonwealth Contribution Model (CCM), a transparent, robust and independently reviewed methodology.
The CCM calculations form the basis of the Administrator’s payment advice to the Commonwealth Treasurer. This advice is also provided to State and Territory Health Ministers and State and Territory health department CFOs.

The CCM was initially implemented in 2012-13 using Microsoft Excel. Over time, and as a result of the implementation of multiple funding agreements, the Excel based CCM reached a level of complexity which placed some stress on the Excel CCMs performance, execution and its ability to be easily maintained.

The NHFB migrated the CCM to a SAS based system, with SAS trialled as the primary model in November 2018. In January 2019, the NHFB CEO approved the SAS CCM as the primary model for calculating the Commonwealth NHR funding. The Excel CCM continues to shadow the SAS CCM as part of our internal quality assurance program.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The SAS CCM is stored in the Commonwealth Department of Health’s EDW and it runs through SAS Enterprise Guide.

The following are key inputs to the CCM:

  • Service estimates from States and Territories
  • Base year actual activity as reconciled by the NHFB on behalf of the Administrator
  • IHPA’s NEP and NEC
  • Public Health funding figures from Commonwealth Treasury
  • National Funding Cap
  • Safety and Quality funding adjustments
2019-20 HIGHLIGHTS

To support the implementation of the National Partnership on COVID-19 Response in March 2020, a stand-alone CCM was built to enable the calculation of the Commonwealth’s contribution to States and Territories in their response to COVID-19.

In June and July 2020, enhancements were made to the CCM to support the implementation of the new Addendum, including incorporating the single Commonwealth Contribution Rate. Further enhancements are planned for October 2020 for the inclusion of new highly specialised therapies and pricing parity for public and private patients in public hospitals.

OBJECTIVE TWO Best practice financial administration of the National Health Funding Pool

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Analysis of performance in 2019-20

We continue to achieve our purpose of improving the transparency of public hospital funding by enhancing our core capabilities, better utilising our resources, adopting innovative approaches and working with our stakeholders.

On 1 October 2019, we launched a new National Health Funding Pool Payments System (the
Payments System) and delivered successful system upgrades in March and May 2020.

We administered $53 billion in NHR payments to LHNs from a total of $55 billion in Commonwealth, State and Territory funding contributions (across 3,505 banking transactions). This equates to 90% of total Government (Commonwealth, State and Territory) funding for public hospitals.

We further improved the transparency of public hospital funding by ensuring State ABF contributions as well as cross border ABF transactions between States were processed through the Pool.

We implemented changes to the Payments System and provided guidance on financial arrangements to enable $2.955 billion in COVID-19 funding to be paid to States and Territories to support their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We updated the Administrator’s Data Plan as well as the Data Governance, Data Compliance
and Payments System policies. Further updates are planned in early 2020-21 for the Calculation of Commonwealth NHR funding policy and Data Matching business rules.

YEAR AHEAD (2020-21):
  • Work with the Commonwealth, States and Territories on further enhancements to the Payments System
  • Promote greater understanding of the 2020-2025 Addendum to the NHR Agreement to ensure consistency of funding flows and alignment to requirements (including Service Agreements)
  • Finalise implementation of additional funding streams through the Poll (e.g. COVID-19)

Payments to each Local Hospital Network (LHN) accord with directions from responsible State and Territory Ministers and align with Service Agreements

Performance criteria 2.1 (Corporate Plan) and PBS 2019-20 page 342

2019-20 TARGET

100% of payments from the Pool are made in accordance with advice from relevant Health Ministers.

ANALYSIS

100% of payments from the Pool were made in accordance with directions from State and Territory Health Ministers and aligned with the Administrator’s payment advice to the Commonwealth Treasurer.

RESULT

Met.

Maintain the integrity of the Administrator’s Payments System in accordance with policies and procedures

Performance criteria 2.2 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

100% of the Administrator’s Payments System policies and procedures are complete, available and approved annually by the Administrator

ANALYSIS

Ahead of launching the new Payments System on 1 October 2019, a new dedicated State and Territory user manual was developed and tailored training delivered to users in each State and Territory.

The Administrator’s Payments System policies and procedures were updated and approved in:

  • October 2019 to align with the new Payments System; and
  • March and May 2020 following system enhancements.
RESULT

Met.

CASE STUDY

NATIONAL HEALTH FUNDING POOL PAYMENTS SYSTEM

The NHFB launched a new National Health Funding Pool Payments System on 1 October 2019 utilising the TechnologyOne OneGov Cloud based Software as a Service (SaaS). The system is hosted on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) secure Australian Government Cloud, and is protected using domain whitelisting, two factor authentication, and a comprehensive range of data security and backup infrastructure including data encryption in transit.

We established a Payments System Project Working Group with States and Territories to:

  • include, where possible, their business and functional requirements into the scope of the project;
  • provide guidance on design and user issues; and
  • work with the NHFB project team and subject matter experts to identify best practice solutions.

As a result, the NHFB developed enhancements to the solution configuration to meet the processing and reporting requirements of the NHFB, States and Territories. This included:

  • enhanced workflow and security configuration;
  • digital forms and workflow for creation and amendment of user and creditor accounts; and
  • configuration to meet specific transaction processing and reporting disclosures including monthly and annual reporting of funding and activity.

The new Payments System has delivered simpler processes for the entering, verification and approval of public hospital funding as well as delivering improved reporting capabilities. It supports the bulk import of transaction data, captures funding and payments data required for monthly reporting and enables numerous reports, enquiry tools and analytics for all users.

A user group survey was undertaken in August 2020. Feedback gathered will help us better understand how the NHFB can support Payments System users and implement future system enhancements. Preliminary results from the survey indicate areas for the NHFB to focus on in 2020-21 will be training new users, enhancing guidance material and establishing a Community of Practice forum for users.

OBJECTIVE THREE Effective reporting of public hospital funding

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Analysis of performance in 2019-20

We achieved our purpose of improving the transparency of public hospital funding payments made into and out of the Pool and each State Pool Account and State Managed Fund.

Since 2013-14, public hospital funding has increased from $37 billion to $55 billion in 2019-20, an increase of $18 billion.

Following the launch of the combined Administrator’s Public Hospital Funding website and the National Health Funding Body’s website (June 2019), we released new reporting capability in May 2020.

Whilst we met our performance criteria of producing monthly and annual reporting of funding, payments and services, we did not meet our desired timeframes for publication in quarters one, two and three of 2019-20. However, our new automated process has led to a reduction in the
time taken to publish monthly reports from six to four weeks. Another factor contributing to the delay in publishing these monthly reports was our careful and methodical approach to data quality
assurance when combining historical data with the current financial year data sourced automatically from the Payments System.

The fully automated reporting process has been integrated with the Payments System, removing the need for manual data entry and making significant improvements to the timing of reports. 160 reports on public hospital funding and activity for the month of May 2020 were published on the website by the end of June 2020 - the fastest the NHFB has ever published monthly reports.

We improved compliance with the NHR Agreement by jointly assessing the Administrator’s quarterly compliance reporting with Service Agreement activity estimates, monthly reports and annual reconciliation. We engaged with our stakeholders to update and publish the Administrator’s ThreeYear Data Plan (2020-21 to 2022-23) and accompanying Data Compliance Policy.

We engaged with States and Territories and our portfolio agency partners to further progress work on trend reporting and triangulation across multiple data sources and financial years to better understand data and information flows, and will incorporate this into future updates to the
Administrator’s Three Year Data Plan.

YEAR AHEAD (2020-21):
  • Publish the Administrator’s 2019-20 Annual Report
  • Work with the Commonwealth, States and Territories on further enhancements to the website
  • Review the Administrator’s Three Year Data Plan 2021-22 to 2023-24 in consultation with portfolio agency partners and stakeholders
  • Review the Administrator’s 2021-22 Data Compliance Policy in consultation with portfolio agency partners and stakeholders

All relevant Ministers receive required information in a timely manner

Performance criteria 3.1 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

The Administrator’s Annual Report on the operations of the National Health Funding Pool is tabled in Commonwealth, and State and Territory parliaments within timeframes.

ANALYSIS

The Administrator’s 2018-19 Annual Report was tabled in:

  • Federal Parliament on 15 October 2019
  • Parliament of New South Wales on 21 November 2019
  • Parliament of Victoria on 12 November 2019
  • Parliament of Queensland on 10 February 2020
  • Parliament of Western Australia on 12 November 2019
  • Parliament of South Australia on 28 November 2019
  • Parliament of Tasmania on 28 November 2019
  • ACT Legislative Assembly on 26 November 2019
  • Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory on 27 November 2019

This advice was also provided to all Health Ministers and State and Territory health department CFOs on the same day.

RESULT

Met.

Monthly and annual reporting of funding, payments services

Performance criteria 3.2 (Corporate Plan) and PBS 2019-20 page 342

2019-20 TARGET

Monthly and annual reporting of funding and payments and services is uploaded to the website.

ANALYSIS

Whilst we did not achieve our planned timeframes (within six weeks of period close) for the publication of monthly reports in quarters one, two and three of 2019-20, all monthly and annual reports for 2019-20 funding and payments ($53 billion) and services (9 million NWAU) have been published on publichospitalfunding.gov.au.

The Payments System release in March 2020 provided automated reporting capability for the website reporting tool which launched in May 2020. This new tool has enabled the NHFB to reduce the time taken to publish monthly reports (from six weeks to four).

RESULT

Met.

Quarterly and annual reporting of Commonwealth, State and Territory compliance with the Administrator’s Data Plan

Performance criteria 3.3 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

Publish Quarterly Compliance Reports within six weeks of period close.

ANALYSIS

All quarterly and annual reports on Commonwealth, State and Territory compliance with Administrator’s Data Plan have been published on publichospitalfunding.gov.au.

Overall jurisdictional compliance with the Administrator’s Data Plan has improved, however there are some areas that require further improvement such as the timeliness of data submissions. For 2018-19 Annual Reconciliation, up to 90% of data submissions were, on average, received by the due date (compared to 60% for 2017-18 Annual Reconciliation). However data resubmissions were received up to 19 weeks after the initial due date compared to 5 weeks for 2017-18 Annual Reconciliation.

RESULT

Met.

CASE STUDY

Website landing page publichospitalfunding.gov.au

publichospitalfunding.gov.au

To improve the transparency of public hospital funding in Australia, and increase public access to public hospital funding and activity information, the NHFB collaborated with industry partner Oxide Interactive and GovCMS to provide a complete website overhaul and improve user experience.

Phase 1 was launched on 28 June 2019 and combined the Administrator’s Public Hospital Funding website and the National Health Funding Body’s website into one. The site also transitioned from an independent hosting site to the whole of government GovCMS Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

Following user research and a series of workshops and usability testing sessions, the NHFB launched Phase 2 of the website in May 2020 and transformed a manual PDF reporting process into an interactive solution for users to access, compare and download public hospital funding and activity data directly from the website.

Phase 2 also saw the delivery of a conversion tool that sources public hospital funding and activity data from data.gov.au, imports it into our website platform (Drupal), and displays as monthly reports.

publichospitalfunding.gov.au is a key piece of the NHFB’s digital transformation agenda and supports NHFB’s vision to improve the transparency of public hospital funding in Australia.

OBJECTIVE FOUR Productive relationships with stakeholders and partners

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Analysis of performance in 2019-20

We achieved our purpose through maintaining and strengthening productive and collaborative relationships with stakeholders to support the obligations and responsibilities of the Administrator.

The Administrator, NHFB CEO and NHFB staff participated in a number of Commonwealth, State and Territory and Portfolio Agency forums in 2019-20, including:

  • The Administrator’s Jurisdictional Advisory Committee;
  • IHPA’s Jurisdictional Advisory Committee;
  • IHPA’s Technical Advisory Committee; and
  • AIHW’s Health Expenditure Advisory Committee.

Productive relationships and regular communication with our stakeholders and partners supports us to improve the transparency of funding for public hospital services. Early and impartial engagement with all stakeholders, especially States, Territories and the Commonwealth, allows time to discuss and resolve issues in a collaborative manner.

We implemented a tiered approach to our stakeholder engagement and improved our relationships through bilateral and multilateral engagement with States and Territories, the Commonwealth and Portfolio Agency Partners (including monthly discussions with the Commonwealth, IHPA and AIHW).

We undertook a stakeholder satisfaction survey to benchmark our performance with stakeholders and identify any new areas for improvement (see pages 17 and 42).

YEAR AHEAD (2020-21):
  • Review our Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Framework and implement improvements (including acting on feedback from stakeholders)
  • Actively participate in bilateral and multilateral forums with all jurisdictions
  • Actively engage and collaborate with Portfolio Agencies (IHPA, ACSQHC, AIHW)
  • Explore options for sharing modelling, analytic and reporting tools with stakeholders and partners
  • Promote greater understanding of the 2020-2025 Addendum to the NHR Agreement (including advice on implementation)

Provide trusted and impartial advice

Performance criteria 4.1 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

Provide advice into the drafting of the future National Health Reform Agreement 2020-21 to 2024-25.

ANALYSIS

The NHFB provided advice to States and Territories and the Commonwealth ahead of the Addendum being signed on 29 May 2020. This included options for reform and improvement, modelling on the introduction of a single Commonwealth Contribution Rate, pricing parity for private and public patients in public hospitals and progression of funding integrity measures such as data matching.

RESULT

Met.

Work plans and information requirements developed in collaboration and consultation with stakeholders

Performance criteria 4.2 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

Three-year data plans are endorsed by the Administrator in a timely manner and released without a direction from COAG Health Council.

ANALYSIS

Following a period of consultation with the Commonwealth, States and Territories (via the Administrator’s JAC), the Administrator’s Three Year Data Plan 2020-21 to 2022-23 was provided to COAG Health Council out-of-session on 13 March 2020 for a 45 day consultation period. It was then published (without a direction to change or amend) on publichospitalfunding.gov.au on 30 June 2020.

RESULT

Met.

CASE STUDY

STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS

Productive relationships and regular communication with our stakeholders and partners supports us to improve the transparency of funding for public hospital services. In 2019-20, we focused on a more comprehensive collaborative approach with our stakeholders. This was reflected in our stakeholder survey results, with respondents reporting high levels of satisfaction.

In late 2019-20 we undertook a stakeholder satisfaction survey to benchmark our progress on improving our relationships with stakeholders and partners since our last survey in 2018. The survey focussed on five key themes:

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

In order to establish a benchmark for measuring improvements over time, our stakeholders were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with NHFB communications and engagement on a scale from 1-5. Our average rating for 2019-20 was 4.25, indicating high levels of satisfaction with the NHFB.

The NHFB will use the feedback received to identify focus areas for 2020-21 and further build on the investment we made in our stakeholder relationships in 2019-20.

“ [it] never seems to be a bother if you’re ringing. [We] never get the feeling we’ve called at the wrong time.."

OBJECTIVE FIVE Operate as a high performing organisation

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Analysis of performance in 2019-20

We achieved our purpose through embedding a positive workplace culture where ‘how’ we do things is just as important as ‘what’ we do.

We set out a clear Strategic Direction, supported by our Corporate Plan, Risk Tolerance and Risk Framework, Section Plans and Performance Agreements. This provided a clear line of sight for our staff between their individual roles and the Strategic Direction.

We improved our organisational performance monitoring through the establishment of a monthly performance discussion on organisational performance, risk management and finance/budget.

We completed all mandatory (PGPA Act & APS) compliance reporting, with no integrity matters to report, and collaborated between teams to achieve outcomes:

  • We improved our approach to organisational performance reporting, compliance reporting, internal audit and assurance as well as broader policy reviews;
  • We reviewed and further streamlined our approach to Risk Management (including updates to our Framework, Instructions, Assessment Worksheets, Register and quarterly Performance Report);
  • We updated our Workplace Diversity Strategy and developed our first Workforce Capability Plan and Learning and Development Strategy for implementation in 2020-21; and
  • Made further progress towards sustaining a strong agency culture based on our United Leadership behaviours (One NHFB, Enhanced Trust, Open Communication, and Own It).
THE YEAR AHEAD (2020-21):
  • Implement our Workforce Capability Plan 2020-2024
  • Implement our Learning and Development Strategy 2020-2024
  • Monitor our performance against our Corporate Plan 2020-21
  • Publish the NHFB’s 2019-20 Annual Report
  • Apply enhancements to our risk management practices
  • Apply enhancements to our audit and assurance approach
  • Apply enhancements to our business continuity planning

A positive workplace culture where people adopt best practice approaches to achieve results

Performance criteria 5.1 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

APS Census results are ‘above average’ and a positive trend on prior-year.

ANALYSIS

Through an internal Pulse Survey in July 2020, we saw a number of results trending upwards as a result of improving our workplace culture and embedding our United Leadership behaviours:

  • 95% of staff feel their supervisor encourages them to try new things even if it doesn’t always work out (up 15% from 2019);
  • 95% of staff feel that people within their workgroup cooperate to get the job done (up 10% from 2019);
  • 95% of staff feel their supervisor communicates effectively (up 10% from 2019); and
  • 95 % of staff identified that their supervisor provides regular and timely feedback (up 10% from 2019).
RESULT

Met.

2019-20 TARGET

100% of compliance reporting requirements for the NHFB as a non-corporate entity are met within timelines.

ANALYSIS

All compliance obligations under the PGPA Act were met, including:

  • publishing the 2019-20 Corporate Plan;
  • an unmodified audit opinion for the 2018-19 Financial Statements;
  • legal services expenditure reporting;
  • contract expenditure reporting (Murray Motion);
  • internal file listings (Harradine Order);
  • Protective Security Policy Framework reporting;
  • Public Interest Disclosure reporting;
  • Fraud reporting; and
  • Freedom of Information.
RESULT

Met.

Policies and procedures comply with relevant statutory and legislative requirements

Performance criteria 5.2 (Corporate Plan)

2019-20 TARGET

100% of corporate policies are current and endorsed by the CEO.

ANALYSIS

100% of policies due for review in 2019-20 were reviewed, updated and endorsed by the CEO. This included streamlining a number of policy documents (from 23 to 12) to ensure all policies are fit for purpose, understood by staff and reflect small agency better practice.

RESULT

Met.

CASE STUDY - COVID-19

The National Partnership on COVID-19 Response (NPCR) was agreed to and signed on Wednesday, 13 March 2020. The objective of the NPCR is to provide financial assistance for the additional costs incurred by State health services in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. The NPCR was subsequently amended on 14 April 2020 to include financial viability payments for private hospitals. Total funding in 2019-20 under the NCPR was $2.955 billion.

OUR SYSTEMS

A second dedicated SAS CCM was built to facilitate the calculation of the Commonwealth’s contribution under the NCPR based on estimates of activity and expenditure from States and Territories.

The flexibility and adaptability of the Payments System enabled the creation of new general ledger accounts within the Payments System to include a new account type for COVID-19 (i.e. to keep NHR Agreement and COVID-19 separately identifiable) in both the Pool and State Managed Funds. The first COVID-19 NPCR payment was made on Monday, 23 March 2020.

The NHFB and the Administrator engaged with all stakeholders through multiple bilateral conversations, a dedicated Administrator’s JAC meeting (12 May 2020) and the development of the Administrator’s Guidance on Financial Arrangements. The guidance document sets out six key principles to assist the Administrator in determining the scope of the NPCR and provides clarity on the requirements for reconciliation

MANAGING OUR WORKFORCE AND WORKPLACE

For the NHFB, being COVIDSafe is now part of our everyday lives both at home and at work. We continue to support our employees to do their best work safely. Since the commencement of COVID-19, like other workplaces, we have moved to conducting our work differently. This includes a mix of working both remotely and in the office, with a focus on managing the numbers of staff in the office at any one time. We consulted with our employees early and often on their preferences with regard to remote working, and we continue to follow the advice of the Commonwealth Department of Health regarding working arrangement guidelines during the pandemic. We encourage and practice good hygiene and physical distancing, following the rules for COVIDSafe occupancy limits in rooms and shared spaces, and we ask our staff to stay home if they are unwell.

Further to our changed workplace health and safety arrangements during COVID-19, we have increased our temporary workforce with a small number of non-ongoing staff, focussed in particular on the additional COVID-19 NPCR funding payments that flow through the Pool, reconciliation of NHR Agreement and COVID-19 NCPR funding and activity, and data integrity work.