Purpose of the Assessment:
The purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate that you have developed a good working knowledge of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) ‘Statements of Priorities’ and the ‘Policy and Funding Guidelines’ and the role of the documents in ensuring that health services across the state of Victoria are delivered and governed as intended.
The opening paragraphs of the Policy and Funding Guidelines 2015 -2016 introduce the purposes of the document as follows:
The Victorian Government is responsible for ensuring a wide range of health services are delivered to the Victorian community. The Department of Health & Human Services (‘the department’) plans, develops policy, funds and regulates health service providers and activities that promote and protect the health of Victorians. Through the department, the government funds more than 500 organisations to provide various health services to Victorians including:
• acute and subacute healthcare delivered by public hospitals and in community settings
• mental health and alcohol and drugs services delivered by public hospitals and community service organisations (CSOs)
• residential and community care for older people, support and assistance to enable people to function independently in their own homes, positive ageing programs, and healthy and active living
• primary health services delivered by a wide community of health services and others
• health promotion and protection through emergency management, public health and related preventative services, education and regulation
• emergency transport and ambulance services through Ambulance Victoria.
The Department of Health and Human Services policy and funding guidelines 2015: Volume 2, Health operations 2015–16 (‘the guidelines’) represent the system-wide terms and conditions (for funding, administrative and clinical policy) of funding for government-funded healthcare organisations.
The guidelines reflect the government and department’s role as a system manager and underpin the agreements at an organisational-level (Statements of Priorities (SoPs) and Service Agreements). The agreements set out the requirements that funded organisations must comply with in addition to their contractual and statutory obligations, outline activity that is required in order to receive funding, and detail expectations of administrative and clinical conduct.
The guidelines are relevant for all funded organisations including health services, CSOs and other funded organisations such as Ambulance Victoria.
Volume 2 is presented across four chapters. The chapters separate the pricing and funding models from the administrative and clinical conditions of funding. The aim here is to improve the clarity and accessibility of the guidelines.
Chapter 1: Overview, key changes and new initiatives provides an overview of the accountability framework for funded organisations and introduces the most significant developments in funding, policy, government priorities and service delivery for the coming year.
Chapter 2: Pricing and funding arrangements for Victoria’s health system details the pricing and funding arrangements for public hospital services and for all other outputs provided by the department.
Chapter 3: Conditions of funding. In order to receive funding from the Victorian Government, all funded organisations must comply with standards and policies that ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality services and responsible financial management. This chapter details the relevant standards and policies that may apply.
Chapter 4: Funding and activity levels provides the tables detailing the modelled budgets for 2015–16 as well as the activity tables that detail the 2015–16 targets for a range of programs across the health system.
In addition to these guidelines, funded organisations are expected to comply with all relevant policy documents and guidelines. A list of key policies and guidelines can be found at www.health.vic.gov.au/pfg .
Hospital circulars provide updates on changes that affect health services during the year. These are available at www.health.vic.gov.au/hospitalcirculars .
What you need to submit:
Each student needs to prepare a 1,500 word report that describes how the DHHS, Statement of Priorities and the Policy and Funding Guidelines and are used to underpin the following key purposes:
• The Victorian Government’s responsibility to deliver relevant, high quality and accessible health services to the community; and
• The Department of Health and Human Services responsibility to ensure that healthcare providers receive funding for services they have rendered
The report describes the purpose of the statement of priorities and the association with the Victorian health service performance monitoring framework.
Write your report as a briefing for health service managers. Reports are to be completed using the report format. Reports should open with a brief overview of the statement of priorities, the policy and funding guidelines and the connectivity with the health services performance monitoring framework as a whole, followed by a brief description of each of the components of the statement of priorities and the policy and funding guidelines.
The body of the report should then demonstrate some practical ways in which each of the parts of the Statement of priorities and the policy and funding guidelines have been designed to accomplish the two purposes outlined above. Students may choose to do this by discussing each document and components therein individually, or as a whole – using a specific category of patient or service type as an example.
Well written reports will describe the linkages between the two documents and within the broader context of the Australian Healthcare system (e.g. key documents such as the National Healthcare Agreement and the National Health Information Agreement; and agencies such as the Department of Health and Ageing, the Department of Health and Human services and the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority will be included).
Reports should include a short discussion about the importance of the statement of priorities and the policy and funding guidelines from the perspective of healthcare agencies, healthcare providers and/or responsibilities of Health Information Managers.
The reports content must be supported by citation of a range of government documents and other relevant literature and must include a reference list in Harvard or APA style.
This assignment is worth 30% of the overall assessment for the subject. Refer to the Grading sheet on the LMS site for allocation of marks for the following grading criteria:
• Demonstrated understanding of the content of the Statement of Priorities and the Policy and Funding Guidelines
• Demonstrated understanding of the practical ways in which each of the parts of the Statement of Priorities and the Policy and Funding Guidelines have been designed to accomplish the two stated purposes. Discussion is supported by a range of relevant literature
• Demonstrated understanding of linkages between Statement of Priorities, the Policy and Funding Guidelines and national agreements and standards.
• Demonstrated understanding of the importance of the Statement of Priorities, the Policy and Funding Guidelines from the perspective of healthcare agencies, healthcare providers and HIMs.
• Report format is presented with a front page, index, executive summary, introduction, the body of the report is clearly sign-posted with headings and sub headings, a conclusion, appendix and a reference listing.
• Writing is fluent, clear and utilizes purposeful English. The student uses both vocabulary and language that suits the writing task and has meaning to the intended audience. Vocabulary relevant to the subject has been used.
• Effective para-phrasing and summarizing of material from other sources, with minimal use of quotation. Demonstrated ability to correctly acknowledge sources using the Harvard or APA referencing system.
This assignment must be submitted via the subject LMS site for assessment by 9.00am Friday 15th April. Students will have an opportunity to ask questions about the assignment via the LMS discussion board and in workshops.
Council of Australian Governments 2012, National Healthcare Agreement 2012.
Council of Australian Governments 2013. National Health Information Agreement
2015-2016 Statement of Priorities. Agreement between Minister for Health and Ballarat Health Services
Department of Health & Human Services. Policy and Funding Guidelines 2015
High Performing Health Services. Victorian Health Service Performance Monitoring Framework 2015-2016