Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association
COMMENT AND RESPONSE (Open Access)

Making activity-based funding work for mental health

Sebastian P. Rosenberg A C and Ian B. Hickie B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, PO Box 6036, Kingston, ACT 2604, Australia.

B Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, 100 Mallett Street, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia. Email: ian.hickie@sydney.edu.au

C Corresponding author. Email: sebastian.rosenberg@sydney.edu.au

Australian Health Review 37(3) 277-280 https://doi.org/10.1071/AH13002
Submitted: 7 August 2012  Accepted: 25 March 2013   Published: 4 June 2013

Abstract

The implementation of activity-based funding (ABF) in mental health from 1 July 2013 has significant risks and benefits. It is critical that the process of implementation is consistent with Australia’s cherished goal of establishing a genuine and effective model of community-based mental health care. The infrastructure to support the application of ABF to mental health is currently weak and requires considerable development. States and territories are struggling to meet existing demand for largely hospital-based acute mental health care. There is a risk that valuable ABF-driven Commonwealth growth funds may be used to prop up these systems rather than drive the emergence of new models of community-based care. Some of these new models exist now and this article provides a short description. The aim is to help the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority better understand the landscape of mental health into which it now seeks to deploy ABF.


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