Final Report of the Private Hospital Data Collection Review

An independent review of the Private Hospital Data Collection was conducted in 2011.

Page last updated: 20 November 2012


The National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA) has established an increasingly data reliant policy and administrative environment. While the reforms focus primarily on the public hospital sector, some elements of the reforms, particularly those focussed on accountability and transparency, also apply to the private hospital sector.

Clause B86 and B96 of the NHRA require improved data management and efficiency for hospitals, the use of existing national data collections, standardised data collection methods across jurisdictions, and the concept of ‘single provision, multiple use’ of data.

In 2011, in response to this requirement, the Department independently commissioned KPMG to undertake an expert examination and evaluation of the data supply chain from point of generation within private hospitals through to receipt by the Commonwealth.

The information contained in this Report does not necessarily reflect the view(s) of the Department and no endorsement should be assumed for the directions or recommendations proposed.

Final Report of the Review of the Private Hospital Data Collection

In conducting the Review of the Private Hospital Data Collection, KPMG conducted an evaluation with the two main objectives of:
  • improving the collection, management and handling efficiency of private hospital data, so as to reduce data management burdens where possible and to encourage participation in accountability reforms; and
  • identifying ways to increase comparability between the public and private hospital sectors.

The Report is available in two formats:

List of Recommendations

The Review has made the following recommendations:

1. Undertake increased analysis of NHCDC information and develop a series of “experimental estimate” reports.

2. That the responsibility for the Private Health Establishments Collection (PHEC) be transferred to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

3. That Comma Separated Values (CSV) file format with field names in the first record be adopted as the standard file format for Private Hospital Data Bureau (PHDB) and Hospital Casemix Protocol (HCP) files. This recommendation covers all HCP files, including HCP1, HCP2 and AN-SNAP.

4. That jurisdictions and private hospitals be approached to undertake a pilot test of a process for affecting a common file format for those data fields common to PHDB, HCP and the Admitted Patient Care (APC) National Minimum Data Set (NMDS).

5. That, subject to the above pilot succeeding, the successful model for common specification of common fields be rolled out to all private hospitals and all jurisdictions.

6. That the health insurance industry formally seek membership of NHISSC as an observer. This could be either as a permanent (observer) member or on an occasional basis, when issues specific to health insurers are to be considered.

7. The Private Hospital Working Group (PHWG) and Hospital Casemix Protocol Working Group (HCPWG) meet together at least once per year to discuss data related issues. This meeting should take place in the December quarter, to allow sufficient time for issues requiring implementation in the following financial year to be identified and considered.

8. That NHISSC be asked to develop a formal protocol for assessing business and related impacts of proposed changes to APC NMDS data items and associated metadata on the private hospital and health insurance sector.

9. That the ECLIPSE record specification thereafter be maintained to ensure its capability to transmit HCP data remains current.

10. Investigate the feasibility of conducting a data linking exercise between a jurisdictional health department and insurers for improved HCP information.