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The National Hospital Cost Data Collection (NHCDC) is a unique collection and remarkable evidence base that is used across the Australian health system. The NHCDC plays a vital role in collating the vast majority of health system costs at a patient or ‘product’ level, and is the primary input to determine the National Efficient Price (NEP) and National Efficient Cost (NEC) for the funding of public hospitals services. To support consistency in the costing process, IHPA works with stakeholders to develop and implement national costing standards. The current version of the standards is the Australian Hospital Patient Costing Standards Version 4.0.  

Key publications

Public sector

The NHCDC for the public sector, collected through the states and territories, is the primary data collection used to develop the National Efficient Price (NEP). 

It is an annual and voluntary collection of public hospital data. To ensure it is robust for NEP and NEC determination, once received at IHPA, the NHCDC undergoes validation, quality assurance checks and reporting to allow benchmarking. Each yearly collection includes an independent financial review and the production of a public hospital cost report that contains cost weight tables. 

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Private sector

IHPA works with private hospitals and private hospital groups, to collect the private sector NHCDC. The output of the collection includes a cost report, with cost weights for private admitted acute care services.

Australian Hospital Patient Costing Standards

The Australian Hospital Patient Costing Standards aims to provide direction for hospital patient costing through the development of standards for specific elements of the costing process and reporting requirements.