The NHFB is funded by an annual appropriation from the Commonwealth, with the majority of our operating expenses being for employees and suppliers.
In the 2017-18 Commonwealth Budget, additional funding of $4.1m over 3 years was provided to the NHFB to support our existing role and undertake a digital transformation across our core functions to implement the 2017-18 to 2019-20 Addendum to the NHR Agreement and better position us for future Addendums.
In 2019-20, the NHFB recorded a surplus of $0.7m which was offset by a capital investment of $0.9m in our core digital platforms. Our key digital platforms include:
the SAS CCM;
the new Payments System; and
the new public hospital funding website (Phase 2 reporting capability).
We have also invested in our funding integrity capability to focus on greater assurance and transparency of payments for public hospital services. This activity will provide greater confidence to the Commonwealth, States and Territories of the management of the NHR Agreement and COVID-19 funding.
This investment was delivered through a mix of internal and external resources resulting in a reduction in supplier costs and an increase in employee costs, demonstrating our commitment to productivity improvements, cost savings and investment in our people.
Supporting the National Partnership on COVID-19 response
In accordance with existing legislation and national agreements, the NHFB has core responsibilities for the calculation, payment and reporting of public hospital funding. On this basis, the Administrator and the NHFB were able to administer the funding arrangements for the National Partnership on COVID-19 Response.
The NHFB moved quickly to engage additional staff and establish arrangements with our existing industry partners to assist in administering funding arrangements.
The NHFB financial statements for 2019–20 are provided in the Financial Statements section (see pages 75-98) of this report.
“the NHFB recorded a surplus of $0.7m, offset by investment in digital transformation"
Outlook for 2020-21
The National Health Reform Agreement 2020-21 to 2024-25 was signed in May 2020 and provides funding certainty for the NHFB in future years.
To live within our means we will ensure that we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. We will explore opportunities to better collaborate with our stakeholders and industry partners, through regular strategic stakeholder discussions.
We have implemented financial management practices to support effective allocation of resources and ensure the organisation can respond to emerging priorities. We will continue to invest in our people and key digital platforms to enable us to best support the obligations and responsibilities of the Administrator and be ready to adapt to new developments.