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Subacute and non-acute care

Subacute care is defined as specialised multidisciplinary care in which the primary need for care is optimisation of the patient’s functioning and quality of life. A person’s functioning may relate to their whole body or a body part, the whole person, or the whole person in a social context, and to impairment of a body function or structure, activity limitation and/or participation restriction.

Subacute care is comprised of the rehabilitation, palliative, geriatric evaluation and management and psychogeriatric care types.

Non-acute (or maintenance) care is care in which the primary clinical purpose or treatment goal is support for a patient with impairment, activity limitation or participation restriction due to a health condition. Patients with a care type of maintenance care often require care over an indefinite period.

Australian National Subacute and Non-Acute Patient Classification 

Under the National Health Reform Agreement 2011, the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) is responsible for determining the activity based funding (ABF) system for public hospital subacute and non-acute care services. The classification system used for admitted subacute and non-acute care ABF in Australia is the Australian National Subacute and Non-Acute Patient Classification (AN-SNAP).

AN-SNAP is a casemix classification made up of four subacute care types: rehabilitation, palliative care, geriatric evaluation and management and psychogeriatric care; and one non-acute care type. The classification was developed in 1997 by the Centre for Health Service Development, University of Wollongong, and has been refined four times since then. IHPA has used AN-SNAP to price subacute and non-acute care since July 2013. The current version, AN-SNAP Version 4.0, was released in May 2015 and has been used to price subacute and non-acute services from 1 July 2016.

In addition to being the classification system for Australian subacute ABF hospital funding, AN-SNAP is also used for clinical management and other purposes such as benchmarking, epidemiological studies, safety and quality monitoring, and research to understand practice and cost variation.

AN-SNAP Version 5.0

In December 2021, IHPA released the Australian National Subacute and Non-Acute Patient Classification Version 5.0. Further information on IHPA’s development of the classification is available in the Final Report, and guidance on its application is available in the associated Classification Manual. 

This followed a three year process of detailed statistical analysis of public hospital activity and cost data, as well as consultation with jurisdictions, clinical experts and other subacute care stakeholders. 

Resources

Resource

Version 4.0

Version 5.0

Classification Manual

Final Report

End classes 

Data 

Grouper

Fact sheets

Key links