Department of Health

Key messages

  • Activity Based Funding (ABF) is applicable to patients who present to emergency departments for acute care.

Please note: This website will be updated as Victoria transitions to the National Funding Model from 1 July 2021 as a basis to determine hospital funding for Victorian public health services. The information on this page is for historical reference only.

The emergency care stream covers emergency departments and emergency services.

Emergency department care is provided to patients registered for care in an emergency department in selected public hospitals. Emergency departments are medical treatment facilities that specialise in acute care of patients who present without prior appointment, either by their own means or by ambulance.

Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) that provide emergency services are also in scope for Activity Based Funding (ABF). In Victoria, although these services are not currently funded through ABF, with the new UCC data collection it is intended that this activity be reported to the Commonwealth for ABF purposes.


Emergency department presentations are classified according to the Urgency Related Group (URG) classification system, which provides a summary of the complexity and type of patients treated within an emergency department.

Note that if a patient’s entire care is provided in the emergency department, the episode cannot be classified as admitted care.

Urgent Care Centre patient presentations are classified using Urgency Disposition Group (UDG) classification system.

UDG classification considers one less category than URGs, Major Diagnostic Block (MDB), and as a result has fewer groups to classify presentations into.


All emergency department data is collected at the patient level and is reported through the Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD).

Urgent Care Centre data is collected at an aggregate level through the Agency Information Management System (AIMS), and through manual submission of the UCC form.

The unit of count for ABF emergency care is ‘emergency department stay’ or presentation. It includes stays for patients who are treated and go home, and patients who are subsequently admitted to hospital or transferred to another facility for further care.


Costing data for ABF emergency departments can be linked to patient-level activity data.


Eligible facilities in scope for ABF in the emergency care stream are all the current health services that report to the VEMD, including Urgent Care Centres.

Generally, public and private patients are in scope for ABF and compensable patients are out of scope.

Reviewed 24 May 2021


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