Casemix is now an important mechanism for the planning, evaluation and funding of health services in Australia. In New South Wales (NSW) it was believed that while staff from most hospitals in metropolitan Sydney had become both literate and vocal about casemix, staff from rural areas were less familiar and much less likely to participate in casemix initiatives. In conjunction with the NSW Casemix Clinical Committee (NCCC), NSW Health considered a special program of casemix education for rural NSW. Before an education program was attempted, NSW Health inquired into the specific needs for casemix education in rural NSW. Qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis were used. Results of the quantitative analysis indicate that the understanding of casemix classifications is highest among managers. Of concern were the relatively low proportion of Allied Health staff who had more than a vague understanding of the Sub- and Non-Acute Patient (SNAP) classification; the lack of any knowledge of the Mental Health Costing And Service Classification (MH-CASC) by nursing staff; and the lack of any knowledge of the emergency department classification: Urgency, Disposition and Age-related Groups (UDAG), either by clinical or nursing staff. The results of the qualitative analysis show that casemix education for rural areas needs to differ from metropolitan education programs. The analysis also highlights the perception of casemix in rural areas and the special circumstances in rural hospitals that place limits on the ability to use casemix more fully.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Family Practice