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National Healthcare Agreement: PI 30-Elapsed time for aged care services, 2018 QS

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term681601
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 30/01/2018

Relational attributes

Indicators linked to this Quality statement:Help on this term

National Healthcare Agreement: PI 30–Elapsed time for aged care services, 2018 Health, Standard 30/01/2018

Data quality

Quality statement summary:Help on this term
  • The measure of ‘elapsed time’ is used as a proxy for demand for aged care services, however there are many factors that cannot be categorised as time spent ‘waiting’ and not all ‘waiting’ time is included in this measure.
  • Remoteness data for 2011–12 are not directly comparable to remoteness data for 2012–13 and subsequent years.
  • Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) data for 2012–13 and subsequent years are not directly comparable with SEIFA data for 2011–12.
Institutional environment:Help on this term

Approved services submit data to Department of Human Services (DHS) to claim subsidies from the Australian Government.  These data are provided to Department of Health (DoH) to administer services under the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Aged Care Principles and to administer places delivered under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Strategy.

The tables for this indicator were prepared by the DoH and quality-assessed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The data quality statement was developed by the then Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) in 2012 and includes comments from the AIHW. The AIHW did not have all of the relevant datasets required to independently verify the data tables for this indicator. For further information see the AIHW website.

Timeliness:Help on this term

The reference period for this data set is the previous financial year.

Accessibility:Help on this term

The data for this indicator are also used to report in the Report on government services.

Interpretability:Help on this term

The Report on Government Services includes footnotes and explanations on this measure.

Relevance:Help on this term

This performance indicator is intended to inform on the objective of accessibility to aged care services. A key output of accessibility is reduced waiting times. However, a reliable and consistent direct measure of waiting times for aged care is not yet available so the measure of elapsed time is utilised.

Care should be used in interpreting this measure because the period of time between the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) approval and entry into residential care or commencement of community care may be influenced by factors that cannot be categorised as time spent ‘waiting’ and not all ‘waiting’ time is included. Factors that influence this indicator are:

  • care placement offers that are not accepted
  • the availability of alternative community care, informal care and respite services
  • variations in care fee regimes that influence client choice of preferred service
  • perceptions about quality of care that influence client choice of preferred service.
Accuracy:Help on this term

The elapsed time between an ACAT approval and entry into an aged care service is retrospective, i.e. the elapsed time is calculated once a person has obtained entry into an aged care service.

The data for elapsed time by state and territory, and by Indigenous status, are derived from the location of the aged care service.

The data for elapsed time by remoteness are derived from the recipient’s postcode at time of assessment and exclude some postcodes which cannot be matched to a remoteness area.
Socio-Economic Indexes for Area (SEIFA) quintiles are derived from the recipient’s postcode at time of assessment. Recipient’s postcodes not found in the Australian Bureau of Statistics's (ABS) SEIFA data are excluded.

Coherence:Help on this term

The state/territory-level data items used to construct this performance indicator are consistent and comparable over time. As noted in the Accuracy section above, there is variance between the state/territory-level data items and the data for remoteness and SEIFA. This occurs for 2011–12 and subsequent years.

For 2011–12 and subsequent years, cells have been suppressed to protect confidentiality where the presentation could identify an aged care recipient or where rates are likely to be highly volatile, for example where the denominator is very small. The following rules were applied:

  • rates were suppressed where the numerator was less than 5 and/or the denominator was less than 10
  • counts were suppressed where the number was less than 5
  • consequential suppression was applied.

In 2011, the ABS updated the standard geography used in Australia for most data collections from the Australian Standard Geographical Classification to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard. Also updated at this time were remoteness areas and the SEIFA, based on the 2011 ABS Census of Population and Housing.

The new remoteness areas will be referred to as RA 2011, and the previous remoteness areas as RA 2006. The new SEIFA will be referred to as SEIFA 2011, and the previous SEIFA as SEIFA 2006. Data for 2011–12 were reported for RA 2006. Data for 2012–13 and subsequent years are reported for RA 2011. The AIHW considers the change from RA 2006 to RA 2011 to be a series break when applied to data supplied for this indicator, therefore remoteness data for 2011–12 are not directly comparable to remoteness data for 2012–13 and subsequent years.

Data for 2011–12 for SEIFA quintiles were reported using SEIFA 2006. Data for 2012–13 and subsequent years for SEIFA quintiles and deciles are reported using SEIFA 2011. The AIHW considers the change from SEIFA 2006 to SEIFA 2011 to be a series break when applied to data supplied for this indicator, therefore SEIFA data for 2012–13 and subsequent years are not directly comparable with SEIFA data for 2011–12.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes National Healthcare Agreement: PI 30-Elapsed time for aged care services, 2017 QS Health, Standard 31/01/2017

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