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Work is ‘underway’ on activity-based funding in primary care

A framework for the Community Services Costing Programme has been proposed by the HSE and is due to be established shortly, a Department of Health spokesperson said.

The development is part of HSE efforts to improve information about the cost of community services in line with its Finance Reform Programme, which aims to provide a single, accurate financial picture across the health sector.

Once the costing programme is established, a complete picture of the cost of activity in the community will be known for the first time in Ireland’s history.

“Due to the extensiveness of its potential scope, the community costing programme is anticipated to be a multi-year endeavour,” said the Department’s spokesperson.

“The Strategic Framework for Community Costing has developed a comprehensive, initial three-year work programme in line with best practice, which will seek to deliver on the priority actions in the framework. A review and evaluation process will take place on an annual basis.”

The Department declined to state the priority actions, as the framework is still under consideration.

“In order to implement the community costing programme, core information building blocks are required, eg, appropriate and agreed measures of activity, accurate measurement of costs and data on outcomes and resource allocation methodologies. The community costing programme will seek to put in place such building blocks for community services.”

Improved information on the cost of services in the community is considered an important enabler for the development of ABF in primary care.

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