Related contracted hospital care metadata items should only be completed where services are provided which represent some, but not all of the contracted hospital's total services. It is not necessary to complete contracted hospital care items where all of the hospital services are contracted by a health authority, e.g. privately owned and/or operated public hospitals.
Contracted hospital care must involve all of the following:
- a purchaser, which can be a public or private hospital, or a health authority (department or region) or another external purchaser
- a contracted hospital, which can be a public or private hospital or day procedure centre
- the purchaser paying the contracted hospital for the contracted service; thus, services provided to a patient in a separate facility during their episode of care, where the patient is directly responsible for payment of this additional service, are not considered contracted services for reporting purposes
- the patient being physically present in the contracted hospital for the provision of the contracted service.
Thus, pathology or other investigations performed at another location on specimens gathered at the contracting hospital would not be considered contracted services for reporting purposes.
Allocation of diagnosis and procedure codes should not be affected by the contract status of an episode: the Australian Coding Standards should be applied when coding all episodes. In particular, procedures which would not otherwise be coded should not be coded solely because they were performed at another hospital under contract.
Procedures performed by a health care service (i.e. not a recognised hospital) should be coded if appropriate but are not considered to be contracted hospital procedures.
Any Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) derived for episodes involving contracted hospital care, should reflect the total treatment provided (all patient days and procedures), even where part of the treatment was provided under contract by another hospital.