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National Health Performance Authority, Healthy Communities: Frequent GP attenders, 2012–13

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termIndicator
Indicator type:Help on this termIndicator
Short name:Help on this termFrequent GP attenders, 2012–13
METeOR identifier:Help on this term601534
Registration status:Help on this termNational Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016
Description:Help on this termPercentage of people who attended a GP 12 to 19 times in the year.
Indicator set:Help on this termNational Health Performance Authority: Healthy Communities: 2011– National Health Performance Authority (retired), Retired 01/07/2016

Collection and usage attributes

Population group age to:Help on this termAll ages
Computation description:Help on this term

Frequent GP attenders are persons who had 12 to 19 (inclusive) GP attendances between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013.

GP attendances are Medicare benefit-funded patient/doctor encounters, such as visits and consultations, for which the patient has not been referred by another doctor. GP attendances exclude services provided by practice nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners on a GP’s behalf.

In terms of 'Broad Type of Service' Groups, GP attendances comprise all items in Broad Type of Service Group 'A' – GP/VRGP non-referred attendances, 'M' – non-referred Enhanced Primary Care  and 'B' – Non-referred other attendances as published in  quarterly and annual Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) statistics by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health.

Counts of persons who utilised services on the MBS in 2012–13, were created using the unique Medicare Patient Identification Numbers (PINs). Persons who had 12 to 19 (inclusive) GP attendances in 2012–13 (year of service) were allocated to this cohort at the Australia level, based on the number of GP attendances in the reference year for the PIN in question.

Rates (expressed as a percentage) were directly age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population. In undertaking age standardisation of MBS data, the age of each person was determined from the last MBS service of any type for each PIN, processed by the Department of Human Services up to and including 30 June 2014 for records with a date of service in 2012–13. Where the age for an individual was clearly invalid, it was classified as a data error and excluded in performing the age standardisation process. All MBS services for each individual provided in 2012–13 and processed by 30 June 2014, were attributed to the five year age group (0–4, 5–9, 10–14,…, 80–84, 85+) in question.
In producing age-standardised results for a Medicare Local catchment or SA3, the following conditions were required as a minimum:

  • A denominator of at least 30 per age group
  • A total number of patients in the population of at least 20
  • A total population count of at least 2,500 for the Medicare Local/SA3

For MBS data, Medicare Local and SA3 were determined using the enrolment postcode for each person from the last MBS service of any type, provided in 2012–13 and processed by the Department of Human Service by 30 June 2014.  All MBS services for each individual provided in 2012–13 and processed by 30 June 2014, were attributed to the postcode in question. Since some postcodes cross regional boundaries, MBS postcode level data were allocated to Medicare Local and SA3 regions using concordance files provided by ABS showing the percentage of the population in each postcode in each region – however each person’s cohort was as determined at the Australia level.

In the postcode to SA3 geographic correspondence file obtained from the ABS, the percentages of the population in a region for a number of postcodes either did not equal or sum to 100%. This was due to boundary misalignment between the original postcode and other maps. Where necessary, the Authority has rescaled these percentages to ensure totals sum to 100%. A small number of postcodes which did not map to a Medicare Local catchment were categorised separately as 'Other' and excluded – these individual numbers were very low.

Before MBS data are published by NHPA all confidential data cells are suppressed.
The current definition of confidential data is as follows:

  • For number of MBS services:
    • if number of services is less than 6 or
    • if number of services is equal to or greater than 6  but
    • one provider provides more than 85% of services or two providers provide more than 90% of services or
    • one patient receives more than 85% of services or two patients receive more than 90% of services
  • If data on number of services are confidential, corresponding data on other measures such as MBS benefit paid is also regarded as confidential.
Computation:Help on this term

100 x (Numerator ÷ Denominator)

Age standardised using the direct method.

Age_std_direct_method_formula

Numerator:Help on this termNumber of people who had 12 to 19 GP (inclusive) attendances in the year.
Numerator data elements:Help on this term
Data Element / Data SetData Element
Medicare Personal Identification Number (PIN) number
A unique identifier for each person who is entitled to receive Medicare benefits. The Medicare PIN number does not reveal personal information of the individual and is not based on the Medicare card number.
Guide for use
Data source type: Administrative by-product data
Data Element / Data SetPerson—age, total years N[NN]
Guide for use
Data source type: Administrative by-product data
Data Element / Data SetAddress—Australian postcode, Australian postcode code (Postcode datafile) {NNNN}
Guide for use
Data source type: Administrative by-product data
Data Element / Data SetPerson—General Practitioner attendance indicator, yes/no code N
Data Source
Medicare (MBS) data
Denominator:Help on this termTotal population
Denominator data elements:Help on this term
Data Element / Data SetPerson—estimated resident population of Australia, total people N[N(7)]
Data Source
ABS Estimated resident population (total population)
Guide for use
Data source type: Census based plus administrative by-product data
Disaggregation:Help on this termBy Medicare Local catchments, Medicare Local peer groups and SA3
Disaggregation data elements:Help on this term
Data Element / Data SetAdministrative health region—Medicare Local identifier, code AANNN
Data Element / Data SetAdministrative health region—Medicare Local peer group, code N
Data Element / Data SetAddress—statistical area, level 3 (SA3) code (ASGS 2011) NNNNN

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termPercentage
Data type:Help on this termReal
Unit of measure:Help on this termPerson
Format:Help on this termNN.N

Indicator conceptual framework

Framework and dimensions:Help on this termPAF-Equity of access

Data source attributes

Data sources:Help on this term
Data SourceABS Estimated resident population (total population)
Frequency
Quarterly
Quality statement
ABS Estimated resident population (total population), QS
Data custodian
Australian Bureau of Statistics

Accountability attributes

Reporting requirements:Help on this termNational Health Performance Authority-Performance and Accountability Agreement.
Organisation responsible for providing data:Help on this termDepartment of Health
Accountability:Help on this termNational Health Performance Authority
Further data development / collection required:Help on this termSpecification: Long-term
Release date:Help on this term19/03/2015

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termNational Health Performance Authority
Origin:Help on this termHealthy Communities
Reference documents:Help on this term

National Health Performance Authority-Performance and Accountability Framework.

Healthy Communities: Frequent GP attenders and their use of health services in 2012–13, Technical Supplement.

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